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America turns 244 years on Saturday. But like a lot of us who have become a year older recently, the celebration and the pop of fireworks will be more muted than in previous years.

Locally cities are mostly skipping their traditional holiday parades, festivals, and concerts. Family cookouts may feature fewer people.

AAA says Americans will take roughly 700 million trips this 4th of July holiday, estimating 97 percent of those to be road trips.

2020’s estimated travel a significantly lower number of travelers than AAA has forecast for the 4th of July in many years. Still, it shows that many are making travel plans again during the coronavirus pandemic, just making different plans.

The Year of the Road Trip

AAA expects we will take 700 million trips this summer. That is about 120 million, or 15%, fewer outings than we embarked on last summer.

While that sounds like good news for the economy, it should come with the warning that objects in the mirror appear larger than they are. Cars make up 683 million of those tripsAirlines, cruise ships, rail, and other forms of mass transportation are missing out—with business expected to come in at 86% below last year’s levels.

The restaurant industry also relies heavily on tourism. But a lot of eateries—from unique, locally-owned popular spots to national franchises—are not there anymore.  I encourage you to visit your local favorites – take out is a win-win for everyone.

Our Summer Travel Reality Check

The most-searched-for destinations on AAA’s TripTik site this spring were Denver, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.  Many of our clients that we have talked with are taking a “staycation”—traveling mostly locally, or at least avoiding states that require a 14-day quarantine (a la New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut).

If you are hitting the road, be sure to do a Reality Check, so you do not run into any surprise roadblocks on the way to your destination.

If you’re looking to visit beaches, museums, etc., call ahead to see what the local ordinances are. And no matter where you are, you can enjoy socially distant entertainment:

2020 doesn’t look the way any of us thought it would. All around the world, we hear a lot about new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. And we’re watching protests happening in towns large and small across America.

For many, this is an emotional time. And a sobering one. So it’s easy to feel pressured to make our holidays and weekends feel as traditional as possible.

Michael’s 4th of July Creative Idea

I genuinely love and enjoy being outdoors with friends and family and watching fireworks.  With most cities canceling them, what can we do?

Improvise!

Set up an outdoor/backyard movie theatre and watch fireworks.  Not sure how to make this happen?  Check out the complete plan from House Beautiful for a DIY backyard movie and fireworks night.

Here are several ideas to watch

  • This week, Macy’s is hosting several downsized fireworks displays across New York’s boroughs. These socially distanced spectaculars will be recorded and aired in a televised finale.
  • PBS’s 40th annual “A Capitol Fourth” will be prerecorded but will end with live fireworks over Washington, DC, that you can watch on TV, social media, or on PBS’s website.
  • And Founding Fathers fans can catch “Hamilton” on Disney+ this weekend. The $75 million that Disney spent on worldwide rights to the Broadway smash is the most significant price tag ever for a single film. And just in time, Disney+ ended its free trial membership offering.

Whatever you do, stay safe, be well, and do what you can to enjoy this time of celebration, even if that means doing as little as possible.

While you are celebrating, share your pictures on social media.  We could all use some great celebration pictures to liven up our social media feeds.  Tag me – I want to see your creativity and food offerings!

Got something on your mind or have a question?

All of this can occur even at a distance.

Call us 214-239-4700 or click to set up a ZOOM MEETING

Michael Tannery CPA CDFA® AIF® ● CEO
Registered Principal | Tannery & Company

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The opinions expressed in this material is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.  Individual circumstances do vary.