4th of July trip: AAA predicts record holiday traffic and gas prices

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – AAA is predicting a record-breaking holiday weekend for several reasons that will be frustrating for drivers.

Not only is traffic volume expected to return to pre-pandemic levels, but it could also be the most expensive 4th of July ever at the gas pump.

“I was so excited to have a Jeep and now I kinda regret it,” said Gianna Rio, who shells out nearly $80 every time she fills up.

The price makes long trips not worth it for her.

“It definitely makes me guess where I’m driving – if necessary, if not necessary. But I work a lot so I have no choice but to drive,” she said.

She will stay close to home over the Independence Day weekend while Qua Wimes looks for a new job. The delivery driver is bleeding money on the road.

“I pretty much have to fill my tank twice a day just to be able to make money. I put in about $60 a day to make $125,” Wimes said.

AAA says gas prices average $4.96 a gallon in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, $4.84 in South Jersey and $4.83 in Delaware.

“We’re experiencing the highest gas prices ever for Independence Day weekend. We’re only about $5 a gallon in the five-county area of ​​Philadelphia,” Jana said. Tidwell, spokesperson for the AAA.

Expect higher holds on your credit or debit cards. Holds are placed to ensure that a customer can afford full payment. Some went from $125 to $175.

“If you’re using your debit card and your checking account balance is really tight, it could trigger an overdraft if you’re not aware of it in advance. There’s also a practical side to this too – the higher the hold saves you from having to swipe your card multiple times,” said Greg McBride, senior vice president and chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com

Still, AAA predicts crowded roads for the holidays, with traffic near pre-pandemic levels. More than 566,000 people in the Philadelphia area are expected to travel, most by car.

“Despite high gas prices, they’ll adjust their summer travel spending — or even their day-to-day life — just to make sure they can take that summer road trip,” Tidwell said.

For those traveling to their vacation destination, Philadelphia International Airport suggests travelers sign up to receive updates from their airlines.

FlightAware says nearly 800 flights were canceled nationwide Monday with 19 cancellations in Philadelphia.

“Flights were delayed, lots of people and very, very little customer service help,” said Monique Dollone, who was flying out of PHL on Monday.

If you’re driving to your 4th of July destination, AAA suggests avoiding rush hour traffic on Thursday and Friday. This is when your trip could double in time and you’ll be burning gas while sitting in traffic.

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