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Travel for 4th of July: Tips and Destinations

Travel for 4th of July: Tips and Destinations

Every single year America’s birthday sneaks up on you. Frantically you text your partner, “What’s the best time to travel for 4th of July? I wanna beat traffic.”

Get Ready for a Memorable 4th of July Weekend

Fourth of July celebrations are a highlight of the summer season, with millions of people traveling to enjoy the festivities. In 2022 AAA (American Automobile Association) estimated 42 million Americans would travel by car fourth of July weekend.

Air travel brought 11 million holiday travelers to their destinations in 2022 according to Hopper.

But with so many people on the move, it’s crucial to plan ahead for a stress-free holiday weekend. That’s where we come in! This detailed guide is packed with valuable tips and advice to help you make the most of your 4th of July weekend getaway.

Timing Your Travel and Choosing Your Destination

We’ll dive into the best days to travel and avoid a high volume of travelers. Summer travel volumes are dramatically increasing compared to pre-pandemic years.

You’ll also find out the top holiday destinations to suit every interest and budget, from iconic celebrations in major metro areas to relaxing beach getaways and outdoor adventures in national parks.

Despite record prices, this article will get you well-prepared to enjoy an unforgettable 4th of July holiday weekend.

Read on to discover the top travel destinations and find the perfect spot for your 4th of July celebration.

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My Heart Belongs to 4th of July Tee

Best Time to Travel 4th of July Weekend

It seems like every year you end up driving on the busiest day and seeing a numerous car accidents. American adults all want to arrive and celebrate the fourth of July holiday weekend safely.

Timing for a Smooth 4th of July Weekend

A crucial aspect of planning your Independence Day weekend is knowing the best time to travel. By understanding the worst times and traffic data, you can travel when there are fewer people on the road.

Nothing ruins a three-day weekend like traffic jams, crowded airports, and long waiting lines.

This year, July fourth falls on a Tuesday. Still, AAA booking data shows the United States will be buzzing with Americans enjoying a much-needed vacation.

Overview of the Busiest and Least Busy Times

DayBest TimeWorst Time
Friday June 30thBefore 9am / After 9pm9am – 9pm
Saturday July 1stBefore 11am / After 7pm12pm – 4pm
Sunday July 2ndLightest DayLightest Day
Monday July 3rdUnknown Traffic DataModerate Traffic 3pm -8pm
Tuesday July 4thBefore 2pm / After 11pm7pm – 10pm
Wednesday July 5thUnknown Traffic DataUnknown Traffic Data

State highways going towards top domestic destinations are going to have the heaviest traffic during fourth of July weekend.

In order to reduce stress, consider departing a couple of days before the weekend and returning a day or two after the holiday.

This will give you a head start on the crowds and provide more flexibility in your travel plans.

best time to travel 4th of july weekend

Flight and Road Travel Tips

As a travel agent I would suggest booking flights early as travel prices are increasing rapidly. From March 2022 to March 2023 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index reported a airline prices up 17.7% (almost 18 percent increase!).

Especially if you are traveling with a family, you should book your flights several months in advance to secure seats together. Departure times early in the morning tend to be less crowded. Additionally, morning flights are the least likely to be canceled because the ripple effect of a problem is less likely to happen that early the day.

A major concern for holiday drivers is always the national average gas prices. While prices fluctuate from week to week, the good news is prices are still down 41 cents compared to last year.

On your holiday road trip avoid heavy traffic and the longest travel delays by referring to the best time to travel 4th of July chart above.

Planning Activities Around Peak Times

Fireworks and Parades: To secure prime viewing spots for fireworks displays and parades, arrive early, and consider attending smaller, local events to avoid massive crowds.

Beaches and Parks: Popular beaches and parks can fill up quickly during the 4th of July weekend. Plan to arrive early in the morning or late afternoon to secure a spot and enjoy a more relaxed experience.

Be mindful of the best time to travel during the 4th of July weekend. Don’t plan your car travel for Friday afternoon like everyone else getting off work.

Transportation Tips

Renting a Car or Using Public Transit: Plan your transportation options ahead of time. If you’re flying to your destination, consider renting a car or using public transit to get around. Research local transit systems, schedules, and ticket options to make the most of your time.

Exploring Bike and Scooter Rentals: In many cities and beach destinations, bike and scooter rentals are a popular and eco-friendly way to explore. Check out local rental services and download the necessary apps before your trip to ensure a seamless experience.

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4th of july patriotic power couple
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freedom to love

Choosing Your Destination

You’ve decided to go away for the fourth of July holiday weekend. I am always in full support of taking an adventure. There are so many fun places to celebrate America’s birthday.

Find the Perfect 4th of July Weekend Getaway

Choosing the ideal destination for your 4th of July weekend can make all the difference in your holiday experience.

By considering your interests, budget, and travel distance, you can select the perfect spot to celebrate Independence Day.

Considerations for Selecting the Perfect Spot

Personal Interests and Preferences: Think about what kind of experience you want for your 4th of July weekend. Are you looking for a bustling city, a romantic weekend away from the kids, or an adventurous outdoor escape? Identifying your preferences will help you narrow down your options.

Budget and Travel Distance: Consider your budget and how far you’re willing to travel for your 4th of July getaway. Factor in the costs of flights, mid-range hotels, and activities to determine what destinations are within your reach.

Top 4th of July Destinations

You can have an amazing patriotic celebration is every major American city. I got married in Las Vegas, have a nephew in San Francisco, and some siblings in-law in New Orleans, any of those would be great choices for Independence Day weekend.

Iconic Celebrations

Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital offers a spectacular 4th of July experience, with a massive fireworks display, a parade along Constitution Avenue, and numerous historical sites and museums to explore.

New York City Celebrate in the Big Apple with the famous Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, enjoy live music events, and explore iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Times Square.

Boston Immerse yourself in history by attending the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, taking a walk along the Freedom Trail, and visiting historic sites like Paul Revere’s House and the Old North Church.

best places to watch fireworks 4th of july

Beach Getaways

Myrtle Beach, SC Sun, sand, and fireworks await at Myrtle Beach, with numerous family-friendly attractions, water sports, and entertainment options for a fun-filled 4th of July weekend.

San Diego, CA Enjoy beautiful beaches, a spectacular fireworks display over the bay, and attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and the USS Midway Museum.

Cape Cod, MA Experience a quintessential New England getaway in Cape Cod, with picturesque beaches, charming lighthouses, and quaint villages that offer a relaxed and scenic 4th of July weekend.

National Parks and Outdoor Adventures

Yellowstone National Park Marvel at the natural wonders of Yellowstone, from the famous Old Faithful geyser to the stunning Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, while enjoying camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

Grand Canyon National Park Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Grand Canyon, with opportunities for hiking, rafting, and stargazing during your 4th of July weekend.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Explore the lush forests, waterfalls, and wildlife of the Great Smoky Mountains, while enjoying hiking, fishing, and scenic drives in America’s most visited national park.

freedom vibes only

Traveling with Kids on 4th of July Holiday

Mix the stress of a busy travel weekend with the chaos of traveling with children and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Make sure to read: Hacks for Traveling with Siblings

You might also be wondering how the heck anyone could afford to travel with a family these days. I’m super passionate about helping parents travel more with their children.

If you’ve stumbled on this article it’s a definite sign that you can take that well deserved family vacation. I want you to experience that fun feeling you get as you book a trip using points and miles.

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Overnight Accommodations

Our family likes to spend our vacations living bougie on a budget. If we’re paying cash we like to keep rooms under $120 per night since we are typically booking two rooms for our family of four.

Anytime we find a good hotel points redemption we will stay at higher end properties often in multi-bedroom suites. Getting to sleep in luxury hotels makes traveling as a family so much more enjoyable.

Secure Comfortable Lodging for Your 4th of July Weekend

Once you’ve chosen your ideal destination, it’s essential to plan your accommodations and to ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable holiday experience.

Booking Accommodations

Book Early: Hotels generally have generous cancellation policies, although they may have special conditions for July 4th weekend. If you think you will be going to a specific city, get your lodging secured as early as possible.

Book Direct: Infrequent travelers have this tendency to book travel on third party websites. Do not do this. Bulk booking websites are a nightmare to deal with if there are changes, cancelations, or any problems at all. Only reserve your hotel room directly with the company who owns the hotel.

best places to see fireworks 4th of july

Exploring Alternative Lodging Options

Vacation Rentals: Consider renting a vacation home, apartment, or condo as an alternative to traditional hotels. This can provide a more personal and comfortable experience, often with added amenities like a kitchen and laundry facilities.

Campgrounds: If you’re seeking an outdoor adventure, look into campgrounds or RV parks near your chosen destination. These options can be more affordable and offer unique experiences like campfires and stargazing.

Preparing for the Trip

For us, the worst day of a family vacation is the day we have to pack. Nobody wants to take responsibility for their stuff, so mom always ends up doing the majority of the work.

Essential Tips for a Stress-Free 4th of July Weekend Getaway

Proper preparation is key to enjoying a worry-free and memorable 4th of July weekend.

the american dream is dead

Packing Essentials

Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Check the forecast for your destination and pack clothing suitable for the expected weather conditions. Include layers, rain gear, and a light jacket, as evenings can be cool in some locations.

4th of July Theme Items: Don’t forget to order your patriotic gear early! All the 4th of July shirts you see on this page are available to show off at your festivities. In addition, pack up your fireworks, American flags, temporary tattoos, or any other must have July 4th supplies.

Sun Protection and Bug Spray: Ensure you have adequate sun protection, including sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Bug spray is also essential, particularly if you’re planning outdoor activities or visiting a national park.

Snacks and Hydration: Pack a reusable water bottle and some healthy snacks for your journey. Staying hydrated and well-fed will help you maintain energy levels and avoid expensive convenience store purchases.

Ensuring Safety and Following Local Guidelines

Fireworks Safety: If you plan on using fireworks during your celebrations, always follow safety guidelines and local regulations. Keep a safe distance, never relight a “dud,” and always have a bucket of water or a hose nearby.

No Drinking and Driving: Enjoying adult beverages to celebrate Independence Day is all well and good. But, have a plan for your late hours return trip. You do not want to cause one of the fatal car crashes that will sadly happen that night.

COVID-19 Precautions and Travel Restrictions: Stay updated on the latest COVID-19 guidelines and travel restrictions for your destination. Ensure you have any required documentation, such as proof of vaccination or a negative test result, and follow local safety protocols.

Staying Connected and Informed

Downloading Travel Apps and Local Event Guides: Install travel apps and local event guides on your smartphone to stay informed about attractions, events, and transportation options during your trip.

Subscribing to Weather and Traffic Alerts: Sign up for weather and traffic alerts to receive real-time updates on potential hazards or delays. This will help you plan your activities and travel times accordingly.

Best Time to Travel 4th of July

I hope this guide will ensure you are well-equipped to enjoy a fun and stress-free 4th of July weekend. You may have clicked on this article to learn the best time to travel 4th of July weekend, but you ended up knowing everything there is to know about traveling over that holiday.


  • Veronica Hanson

    Veronica Hanson blogs from whatever country she happens to be in at the time, currently she's hanging out in Japan. She's been living as a nomad remote entrepreneur with her family since 2020.

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