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Where to travel for July Fourth fun

ShowImageThe Fourth of July week will be twice as busy for travel compared to any other week in the summer.

Chicago will likely be the No. 1 destination for this year’s holiday – due to the Grateful Dead reunion show with the band Phish, according to the Orbitz Insider Index.

In addition, airfare costs are down by 4 percent, which is increasing the interest in holiday travel. The latest Index indicates Thursday, July 2, as the busiest travel day and Sunday, July 5, as the most expensive.

"For patriotic travelers looking to skip long lines and save on airfare, avoiding travel on July 2 and July 5offers the best bets,” said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor of Orbitz.com. “Considering alternative locales to the most popular destinations can also provide the same splash of American culture or the beach retreat that many travelers envision, with less cost and hassle.”

However, Chicago will cost more with the concert commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s final shows in the city. Chicago is seeing a 122 percent increase in hotel bookings over last year and a 77 percent increase over last year in hotel prices for July 3, 4, and 5.

Highlights from the Orbitz Fourth of July Insider Index

  • Airfare is down 4 percent on average from last year with the biggest decreases for Las Vegas, down 14 percent, and Los Angeles down 19 percent.
  • Rising from number five in 2014 to become the top travel destination in 2015, consumer demand for travel to Chicago is strong.
  • Hotel rates – New York, down 10 percent; Las Vegas, down 8 percent; and San Francisco, down 8 percent – show a drop from last year.

Top 10 Fourth of July U.S. destinations

Rank

Destination

Avg. Airfare 2015

Change From Last Year

Hotel Avg.

Daily Rate 2015

Change From Last Year

1

Chicago, Ill.

$396

-3%

$340

+77%

2

Los Angeles, Calif.

$428

-9%

$193

+6%

3

New York, N.Y.

$460

-1%

$242

-10%

4

Las Vegas, Nev.

$350

-14%

$114

-8%

5

Seattle, Wash.

$429

-8%

$229

+5%

6

Orlando, Fla.

$330

-8%

$129

+5%

7

San Francisco, Calif.

$492

-2%

$260

-8%

8

Denver, Colo.

$342

+3%

$158

-6%

9

Washington, D.C.

$392

-4%

$204

+13%

10

Boston, Mass.

$431

+3%

$299

+14%

Orbitz Top Five Great American Getaways

For Americans looking for fireworks, holiday festivities, and more without the crowds, Tornatore suggests the following destinations:

Mackinac Island, Mich. provides a return back to a simpler time where horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the only way to get around the island. Enjoy Mackinac Island’s Star Spangled Fourth and see solider demonstrations, canon firing, and more from one of only two remaining Revolutionary War forts in America.

Charlottesville, Va. is where you can see Thomas Jefferson’s summer home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Toast to Independence Day at a celebration and naturalization ceremony at his Monticello home, or at one of more than 30 local orchards and vineyards.

St. Augustine, Fla. offers visitors the opportunity to explore classic hotels and restaurants as its the oldest European settlement in the United States. You can taste the waters of the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park where Ponce De Leon may have landed or enjoy beautiful Matanzas Bay.

Cooperstown, N.Y. is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. You’ll also find concerts and festival events.

Cody, Wyo. allows visitors to experience Western adventure such as exploring Buffalo Bill’s town in Yellowstone country. Visitors can also attend the Cody Stampede, which features music, parades, street fairs, fireworks, and rodeos during the first week of July, or go wildlife watching.

Copyright 2015, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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