Millions of Americans expected to travel for Fourth of July

Nearly 50 million Americans are expected to travel this Fourth of July holiday following a year of delayed and canceled trips due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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AAA Mid-Atlantic says they estimate 47.7 million travelers will plan to get away this year. Of those, 43.6 million will drive to their destinations.

The number of those traveling is up 40 percent from last year as the U.S. continues to rebound to pre-pandemic levels.

Traditionally, the worst times to travel are:

- Thursday between 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. and after 7 p.m.

- Friday before 12 p.m. and between 4 p.m - 5:00 p.m.

- Saturday between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and after 2 p.m.

- Monday before 1 p.m. and between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

According to AAA, the worst time to travel in the D.C. region is on Thursday, July 1 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. along the southbound lanes of Interstate-95 and along Route 3 to Dumfries Road. Experts say drivers could see travel times increase up to 30 percent.

This year’s July Fourth travel rush will come as gas prices climb to seven-year highs and as rental car rates skyrocket.

While the CDC has said people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can travel with low risk, the emergence of the delta variant could trigger challenges going forward.