Using data from its widely adopted Daily Travel Index, leading travel data company Arrivalist predicts that Americans will take 42.9 million road trips over Fourth of July weekend this year. Compared to last year, when many festivities were cancelled amid the Covid-19 pandemic, road trip activity will be up 25% percent. Travel is even expected to exceed pre-Covid levels by 3.8% when compared to 2019 road trip activity. But 2021 won't be without its challenges—from the quickly circulating Delta coronavirus variant to a current spike in inflation, travelers have their concerns.
"Predicting human behavior is never easy, especially when external factors such as changing gas prices and the recent spread of the Delta variant are at play," said Cree Lawson, Arrivalist Founder and CEO. "Despite this, we continue to see travel demand hold at a steady pace over the last few weeks in our daily road trip tracker. With travel demand at an all-time high and the President's promise to mark this holiday as an independence from the Covid-19 virus, we expect that Americans will continue to shatter records for the upcoming July 4th holiday."
Arrivalist's predictions are the most trusted and accurate in the industry. The difference between what Arrivalist projected for 2021 Memorial Day automobile travel compared to 2019 and what the actual travel was that weekend was just 0.3%. By comparison, other industry predictions were off by 10.8%. Arrivalist provides daily, publicly published updates to data so that anyone can measure the accuracy of Arrivalist's predictions after the event. Arrivalist's Daily Travel Index has been adopted by the U.S. Travel Association, The National Travel and Transportation Organization, Tourism Economics, Skift and many other research companies as a foundational data set in their travel modeling.
The Daily Travel Index is a daily measure of road trip activity taken by residents of all 50 U.S. states, with volume indexed against the average daily volume of 2019 travelers. It was designed as a free online resource available on Arrivalist's website to provide the travel industry with insights to help plot its path to recovery during the Covid-19 pandemic. Site visitors can compare visitation in 2021 to activity from the same period in 2019, not just the timeframe when travel slowed to a virtual standstill in 2020. Additionally, a customized Daily Travel Index is available to clients, which allows them to compare activity in their market to a nationwide index.
How the Data is Calculated
Arrivalist's methodology is based on a representative balanced panel of GPS signals representing road trips taken specifically in cars (excluding travel by air). A trip is measured as one where the user has traveled a minimum of 50 miles and spent a minimum of two hours at the destination. Commuter travel or other frequently repeated trips—i.e., cargo deliveries or other reoccurring activities—are excluded from the Daily Travel Index.