fireworks over NYC
Jul 1, 2022

July 4 Travel: How to Beat the Crowds

Libby Zay

Traveler ExperienceReturn to blog

The upcoming Fourth of July weekend is expected to be one of the busiest travel periods since the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill in March 2020.

AAA reports that 47.9 million Americans plan to travel 50 miles or more over the long weekend. According to TripActions personal travel booking data, Friday, July 1, will be the busiest travel departure day. Here is the breakdown of the share of bookings based on departure date:

  • Wednesday, June 29: 13.11%
  • Thursday, June 30: 18.14%
  • Friday, July 1: 23.32%
  • Saturday, July 2: 18.83%
  • Sunday, July 3: 10.05%
  • Monday, July 4: 7.46%
  • Tuesday, July 5: 9.09%

Whether you plan to take to the skies or hit the road over the Fourth of July weekend, here’s what you need to know.

Air Travel

Pack your patience if you’re traveling by air over the Fourth of July weekend.

Airlines have recently delayed and canceled flights due to staffing shortages, and reports of long security lines have been prevalent in the news. A surge in air travel over the Fourth of July holiday will likely pose more bottlenecks.

The Transportation Security Administration typically suggests that travelers arrive two hours before domestic and three hours before international departures. If you’re traveling over the holiday weekend, it’s advised you add additional time.

Tips to beat the Fourth of July crowds:

  • Check in online.
  • Save your boarding pass to your mobile device.
  • Download the MyTSA app to track airport security lines in real time.
  • Plan for the security process by dressing and packing appropriately.

If you are not already enrolled in a fast-track program, you can sign up for CLEAR online and then finish the enrollment process in person at participating airports.

In some cases, airline elite status or first- or business-class seats can get you priority access to expedited airport security lines. Check with your airport and airline.

Trip canceled or delayed? As travel ramps up, airline support systems become strained. TripActions protects users against the unexpected thanks to the industry’s first Click-to-Accept Schedule Change feature, which notifies travelers of major changes—often before the airlines do.

Road Travel

Car travel is expected to set a new record, despite high gas prices.

AAA predicts that the busiest time to travel the roads this Fourth of July weekend will be the afternoons of Thursday, June 30, and Friday, July 1. The most congested time to travel will be midday, so travel in the early morning or late evening to avoid the worst of the congestion.

Tips to beat the Fourth of July crowds:

  • Buffer your trip with plenty of travel time.
  • Pack snacks and drinks to avoid long lines at rest stops.
  • Download the GasBuddy app to track gas prices on the go.
  • Use a navigation app such as Waze to get real-time travel updates.

Need to rest? Weary travelers can find a hotel near any point of interest or address by dropping a pin on the map in the TripActions app. Simply choose the “Near pin” feature when you search. Try it out.

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