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Record breaking 2.2M Ohioans expected to travel this weekend

Many care are backed up on the interstate. More than 2 million Ohioans are expected to travel by car for this Independence Day weekend.
Carlos Osorio
More than 2 million Ohioans are expected to travel by car for this Independence Day weekend.

AAA predicts that millions of Americans will travel this weekend for the Fourth of July.

In Ohio, the travel agency is estimating that more people than ever will get out of town. They estimate that 2.2 million Ohioans will travel; with 2.08 million traveling by car, 70,000 by air, and over 104,000 by other means, such as bus, train, and cruise.

These numbers are a 3.3% increase over last year.

Air travel has decreased a little bit, which AA said might be attributed to difficulties airlines have experienced recently. However, travel by road and other means has increased.

So it’s going to be busy everywhere — and you need to be prepared for that, said Kara Hitchens, public affairs manager for AAA Miami Valley.

“Pack your patience,” she said. “Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. We’re seeing that Thursday and probably Friday are going to be the busiest travel days. So, if you’re traveling on those two days, you might want to head out early.”

AAA members Hitchens has talked to have expressed an interest in returning to pre-COVID life by getting out and visiting people.

This desire is so strong that they’re willing to work around high gas prices.

“They will make some adjustments in their travel budget to make it work for them,” Hitchens said. “Whether that’s eating in as opposed to eating out more often, maybe selecting more affordable accommodations as opposed to going to the top of the line accommodations, and maybe hitting some attractions that are free.”

If you are traveling this weekend, Hitchens recommends that you plan around high gas prices. Use apps and memberships you might have to get discounts on gas if at all possible.

Hitchens also said to make sure your vehicle is the most fuel efficient it can be by enabling an eco mode if you have it. Also make sure that your tires are full of air, your oil has been changed, and any other steps you need to take to make sure your vehicle is in full working order.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.