LIMA — Motorists who are traveling for the Fourth of July should be prepared for rising gas prices and more motorists on the road than in previous years, according to both AAA and GasBuddy.
The expected average gas price on July 4 is $2.90, which is the highest average since 2014 when the average was $3.66, according to Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
DeHaan expects that over the first four days of July that gas purchases will cost motorists $1.02 billion more than in 2017.
“Crossing a line can be exciting and fun during summer road trips, until drivers realize that they left cheaper gas prices in the dust. Instead, motorists should mind the state line and find the best side to fill up on,” DeHaan stated in a news release.
AAA expects that the national price averages will be between $2.85 and $3.05 from July 4 through Labor Day.
Despite rising gas prices, AAA expects that about 88 percent of Ohio travelers (approximately 1.8 million people) will drive to their destinations Wednesday.
There are more travelers due to strong economic variables and a longer holiday period than last year, according to Bill Purpura, AAA Ohio Auto Club.
“Right now we have a strong economy and it’s having, and continues to have, an impact on disposable income, which is great,” said Purpura.
Altogether AAA expects that 46.9 million Americans (2 million Ohioans) will be traveling approximately 50 miles from home from July 3-8. This is a six percent increase from 2017.
Motorists who are looking to rent a car should expect to pay a daily car rental price of $66, according to a news release.
The most congested day on the road is late Tuesday afternoon as people are leaving work, according to INRIX, a global transportation analytics company.
Purpura suggests motorists leave the house before or after the rush. He believes I-71 and I-70 will be congested.
He also suggests motorists make sure the vehicle is set on oil changes, fluids are topped off and tires and batteries are inspected. He recommends bringing extra water, food, jumper cables, flashlights, batteries and flares.
Air travel, hotels
Average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will cost nine percent less this July 4 than last year with a $171 average round trip ticket price, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.
AAA expects 88,000 Ohioans to fly this year, which is a five percent increase and fifth consecutive year of air travel growth, according to a news release.
AAA Two Diamond hotels are up 11 percent at $147 a night and AAA Three Diamond hotel rates are up two percent at $187 per night.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews