AAA Travel predicts that 0.8 percent fewer Americans will travel during the Fourth of July holiday this year.
Last year, 41.1 million people journeyed 50 miles or more from home for Independence Day. This year, AAA projects that 40.8 million will travel for the holiday.
The decline is due to a shorter holiday period, because the Fourth of July lands on a Thursday this year. Last year, the holiday fell on a Wednesday, adding one day to the holiday vacation period.
This year, 46 percent of travelers plan to begin their trip on July 3, compared to 65 percent last year. Still, July 3 and 7 will be the busiest days, since the largest share of travelers on a single day will depart and return on those days.
Modes of transportation
Around 34.4 million Americans (84 percent) plan to drive to their destination this year, 0.7 percent fewer than last year. More travelers will reach their destination by air; 3.07 million (eight percent) will fly, compared to last year's 3.06 million.
The remaining eight percent of travelers are expected to travel by rail, bus and watercraft.
Costs of travel
AAA's Leisure Travel Index says that rates for AAA Three Diamond hotels are expected to increase more than four percent from last year. Travelers will spend an average of $164 per night compared to $158 last year.
Weekend daily car rental rates will average $58, up from last year's average of $45.
Airfare increased six percent. The lowest round-trip rate this year was $228, compared to $215 last year for the top 40 U.S. air routes.
Independence Day is typically the busiest holiday of summer. Six million more Americans travel for the Fourth of July than Memorial Day.