Heading out of Kansas City for the 4th of July? Here’s the travel and traffic forecast

·2 min read
File photo/The Star

The Fourth of July is expected to be the second-busiest travel day in the holiday’s history since 2000. According to AAA, over 47.9 million United States residents are taking trips on the ground or through the air.

The roads are going to be packed, as AAA estimates that 42 million people will be traveling the country by car. They also forecast that 3.6 million people will be flying to their destinations and 2.4 million are headed out via bus, train or cruise ship.

Kansas City travelers are no exception. AAA predicts that over 844,000 residents from the area will be leaving for the holiday.

If you’re looking to head out for Independence Day, here’s what you need to know.

WHEN SHOULD I LEAVE?

No matter what day you leave during the holiday, AAA recommends that if you’re driving, you should do so early in the morning or late at night. The roads are less congested during these times, and you’ll get to your destination sooner.

Depending on the day you leave, here’s when you should head out and what times you need to avoid:

  • Thursday: You should leave before 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m. and you should avoid driving between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

  • Friday: You should leave before 10 a.m. or after 9 p.m. The roads are expected to be packed between noon and 9 p.m.

  • Saturday: If you’re leaving on Saturday, you should do it before noon or after 7 p.m. You should avoid driving between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

  • AAA said that Sunday and Monday travelers should see low congestion on the roads throughout the entire day.

“The earlier you can leave in the morning, the better,” Nick Chabarria, public affairs specialist for AAA, said. “Expect there to be more cars on the road in general. It’s a great reminder to make sure you’re getting to where you need to go safely.”

WHAT IF I’M FLYING?

The amount of people flying for the holiday is the lowest AAA has seen since 2011. Weather delays and staffing shortages — which lead to more delays and cancellations — could cause traveling issues for those taking to the skies.

AAA recommends that people book their flights early in the morning because there’s less chance of delays. Chabarria said that flight delays come in a domino effect and that the earlier you get out, the less chance you have of missing connecting flights.

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