Millions traveling Wednesday, leave early if you can!

If you have Fourth of July travel plans, you’re one of millions!

Here’s a look at this weekend’s expected travel by the numbers, according to AAA’s Travel Forecast:

The vast majority of travelers – 41.4 million – will hit the road and travel at least 50 miles from their home (up 4.3% last year)
3.96 million people will fly somewhere (5.3% more than last year)

Experts say lower gas prices are motivating even more travelers than usual this year. According to fuel tracking site GasBuddy, Spokane’s average price per gallon is $2.92 cents as of Wednesday morning. The national average is at $2.76.

While the Fourth of July holiday is not until Thursday, experts say Wednesday is the most popular day to travel. July 3rd is actually one of the busiest travel days of whole year as many people try to get out of town ahead the Fourth and mix with regular commuters on their way.

As for where all of those travelers are headed? The Emerald City is a popular destination this year. AAA ranked the top ten Independence Day destinations for 2019 based off travel bookings, and Seattle came in third. Here’s what they came up with:

Orlando, Florida
Honolulu, Hawaii
Seattle, Washington
Las Vegas, Nevada
Anaheim, California
New York, New York
Boston, Massachusetts
Maui, Hawaii
Anchorage, Alaska
Chicago, Illinois

INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, predicts drivers could face delays as much as four times a normal commute in big cities.

” With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays around our major metros,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX. “Although travel times are expected to nominally increase throughout the week, hands down, Wednesday afternoon will be the worst time to be on the road.”

If you’re planning to leave on a road trip today, Reed told USA Today that 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. is expected to be the absolute worst time to hit the road, thanks to a mix of holiday travelers and commuters leaving work.

With the roads extra crowded, you can expect extra Washington State Patrol ​​​​​​​troopers out there, too.

“Troopers will be out in force. We’ll be– as always– looking for impaired drivers, distracted drivers. We know that there’s going to be a lot of extra travel on the roadways with the 4th of July being on Thursday.” said WSP Trooper Jeff Sevigney on KXLY Newsradio 920. “Buckle up, put those phones away while you’re driving.”