Insights & Trends
July 4th Travel: How to Save Hundreds on Flights

July Fourth Travel: How to Save Hundreds on Flights

Gabby Epstein

27 Jun 2024
5 minute read
Fireworks 1

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and Americans are gearing up to celebrate. Travel during the week of the holiday is expected to hit record numbers, with 5.7 million more people venturing out this year than in 2019.

The increase in demand has aligned nicely with a period of low airfares. So where are travelers headed this year?

To better understand what travel-hungry Americans can expect during the Independence Day holiday, we dove into our data to find the least expensive days to fly — and some last-minute deals.

Whether you’re looking to join the party, avoid crowds, or save money, we’ve broken down helpful findings for everyone.

Let’s jump in.

Inflation Settles and Travel Prices Fall

Travel demand has continued to increase, with a number of records smashed before 2024 has even hit the half-year mark. According to the U.S. Travel Association, overall U.S. air passenger volume is up 6% versus the prior year, and international air travel is still experiencing double-digit growth, at 24% YoY.

One reason for the continued demand? Stagnant inflation. So far in 2024, booking prices for all U.S. air travel are down nearly 6% YoY.

We’re seeing the same thing, even for July Fourth. Navan data show that flight booking prices for the holiday week (U.S.-origin, round-trip, economy) are also down 6% YoY (-$39) for domestic flights and down 31% YoY (-$279) for international flights.

July 4th Graph 1

Most Popular U.S. Destinations and Last-Minute Deals

It’s no surprise that many of the top locations for flight bookings are to cities with the most popular fireworks shows, including New York, NY (No. 1); Chicago, IL (No. 2); Boston, MA (No. 4); and New Orleans, LA (No. 5).

In fact, New Orleans made a big jump in popularity — and it wasn’t alone. A handful of Southern and Midwestern hot spots rose in the ranks this July 4, including Detroit, MI (+73 spots); New Orleans, LA (+35 spots); Minneapolis, MN (+31 spots); Atlanta, GA (+30 spots), and Tampa, FL (+11 spots).

For those on the fence about splurging on flights over the holiday, a number of cities have seen reductions in booking prices YoY. The result: last-minute deals, which you can find on flights to Tampa, FL (-54%); Minneapolis, MN (-39%); and Chicago, IL (-21%).

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Domestic Flights: How to Save Nearly $700

For those wanting to avoid crowds this Independence Day, look no further.

When it comes to the most popular departure days, travelers are evenly split between June 28, June 30, and July 1, with (unsurprisingly) July 4 itself being the least popular.

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The busiest return day? No surprise here, either: The plurality of July 4th travelers (44%) will take to the skies — and fill the airports — on the Sunday following the holiday.

More often than not, the further apart the departure and arrival date, the more expensive the round-trip flight booking price will be. The most expensive flight booking combination for domestic travel departs on Saturday (6/29) and returns on Sunday (7/7), with the price averaging $933 round-trip.

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Travelers who opt for a shorter trip can save nearly $700 on round-trip domestic tickets on the following travel dates:

  • Wednesday (7/3) departure with a Friday (7/5) return: $275 avg
  • Thursday (7/4) departure with a Friday (7/5) return: $298 avg
July 4th 5 (v2)

International Flights: Most and Least Expensive Departure Dates

There are still plenty of ways to save for those looking to celebrate the national holiday a bit further from home. The trick is having some flexibility with travel dates.

The most expensive U.S.-origin round-trip international flight booking combinations are:

  • Friday (6/28) departure with a Sunday (7/7) return: $2,641 avg
  • Sunday (6/30) departure with a Sunday (7/7) return: $2,026 avg

For those looking to keep their trip short and sweet (and less expensive), the cheapest international round-trip options are:

  • Wednesday (7/3) departure with a Friday (7/5) return: $317 avg
  • Tuesday (7/2) departure with a Sunday (7/7) return: $601 avg
July 4th 6 (v2)

Money-Saving Booking Tips

Book Using Rewards. One of the best-known hacks in travel is using rewards to cover the whole or partial cost of a trip, but this doesn’t just mean miles or credit card points. Launched in 2023, Navan Rewards is an innovative employee incentive program where employees are rewarded with personal travel credits for making price-conscious business travel booking decisions.

Be Flexible With Dates. When it comes to saving on travel, date flexibility is key. Navan allows users to search for travel options with flexible departure and arrival dates to help maximize savings. Departing on a Thursday after work or returning on a Monday may save you hundreds of dollars on your next trip.

Broaden Your Search. In the Navan app, search flights by location or metro area (think: New York City or San Francisco) instead of specific airports. You might find a great deal at an airport nearby.

Consider Alternative Destinations. If your destination is flexible, your money could go further if you skip trendy downtowns in favor of nearby towns or lesser-known cities that still have what you’re looking for.

Make It a Quick Trip. By flying on the morning of a holiday and returning the day after, you could save hundreds of dollars.


Whether booking a nearby hotel for a family BBQ or flying to New York to see America’s largest fireworks display, Navan can help manage your entire trip, all in one place.

See for yourself how Navan makes personal travel easy and convenient when booking your next adventure.


Navan analyzed flight and hotel booking data with a start date of June 28 – July 4, 2024, and an end date of July 5 – 7, 2024, compared to average booking prices and volume for equivalent trip dates the year prior.

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