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Texans should prepare for record-breaking number of travelers this Fourth of July

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Gabriel C. Pérez

A record number of Texans are expected to travel this Fourth of July, according to AAA.

The organization predicts nearly 4 million Texans will take trips over the holiday, breaking records previously set in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

AAA spokesperson Daniel Armbruster says travel has been increasing all summer, especially international and multigenerational travel that people were unable to do during the pandemic.

“Now that COVID has officially been declared behind us, we've really seen an explosion in interest in travel and also bookings,” Armbruster said. “And so, Fourth of July is a part of that.”

Much of that travel will be on the road: A projected 3.2 million Texans will travel somewhere by car, up about 8% from 2019.

Despite a reported40 to 50% increase in ticket prices since 2022, airline travel is expected to see the highest increase from 2019, with 392,000 Texans anticipated to fly.
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport saw 37,192 departing passengers on Friday — the second most in a single day in the airport’s history.

Airport spokesperson Bailey Grimmett said the July 4 weekend hasn’t historically been a record-breaking travel period, but ABIA is experiencing more travel than ever. Last year was its busiest year on record — with around 22 million passengers departing.

“We’re just rebounding extremely well,” Grimmett said. “Since the pandemic, we've just seen a huge surge in air travel. People are just trying to get out of the house, especially during the holiday period."

AAA is projecting it will be called to assist in close to 21,000 roadside emergencies across Texas over the holiday weekend.

According to a news release, the top three causes of car breakdowns are dead batteries, engine trouble and flat tires. Excessive heat can exacerbate these problems.
AAA recommends drivers have cars checked out before trips but also that they prepare emergency kits in case of a breakdown.

A good kit should contain a lot of water, jumper cables, a flashlight, nonperishable food, hand tools and a first aid kit.

KUT's Dylan Rasbridge contributed to this report.

Copyright 2023 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

John Anderson
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