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Expect more crowded airports, roads than ever before for Fourth of July travel

Key Points
  • AAA predicts that 46.9 million Americans, up more than 5 percent from last year, will travel to celebrate the Fourth of July this year.
  • TSA projects that 28.3 million passengers and crew will pass through its lines from June 28 to July 9.
  • Airports will be the most crowded and tickets will be the most expensive on Friday, June 29.
Independence Day travel to break record.
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The Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, giving travelers more flexibility to schedule their getaways and likely setting a record for the number of Americans traveling.

AAA projects 46.9 million Americans, up more than 5 percent from last year, will travel to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. The motor club defines the holiday period as Tuesday, July 3, to Sunday, July 8. Both the Transportation Security Administration and airfare prediction app Hopper forecast that Friday, June 29, will be the most popular day to fly.

The TSA is projecting that 28.3 million passengers and crew will pass through its lines from June 28 to July 9 on their way to celebrate the Fourth of July. The agency expects to screen 2.7 million people on Friday, which could set a record for its busiest single day ever.

Hopper, which analyzes airfare data, also found that the busiest travel days are between Friday and Monday.

Travelers can expect airports to be the most crowded and tickets to be the most expensive on Friday, the most popular day to fly over those four days. Easing some of the pain, domestic flights for the holiday are 16 percent cheaper than last year, despite rising jet fuel prices, according to Hopper.

For those traveling by land, expect the roads to be as crowded as airport security lines. AAA predicts that 39.7 million Americans will be taking a road trip between July 3 and July 8, an increase of more than 5 percent from last year.

Trains, buses and cruise ships will also see an increase in travel, up 5.8 percent from last year to 3.5 million passengers, according to AAA.