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AAA projects 41 million to travel during holiday

Published 2:34pm Tuesday, July 1, 2014

AAA Travel projects 41 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 1.9 percent increase from the 40.3 million people who traveled last year and a nearly 14 percent increase compared to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The majority of travelers will be celebrating their freedom with a road trip, with more than eight in 10 (34.8 million) choosing to travel by automobile, the highest level since 2007. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 2 to Sunday, July 6.

Nearly five million more Americans are expected to travel for Independence Day than for Memorial Day. Travel volume for Independence Day has grown four out of the past five years and is expected to be more than six percent higher than the average of the past 10 years.

Holiday air travel is expected to decrease 0.6 percent to 3.1 million travelers from 3.12 million last year.

Travelers will encounter airfares five percent lower than last year and car rental costs that remain consistent with last year at $58.

“With school out for summer, the Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, with five million more Americans traveling compared to Memorial Day weekend,” said AAA Alabama spokesperson, Clay Ingram. “In line with tradition, most travelers are celebrating their newfound summer freedom with an all-American road trip.”

The average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.66 for the first half of June, comparable to last year. At this time, many decisions on travel have already been made, and budgets set aside.

A possible increase in gasoline prices leading up to the holiday weekend typically means consumers will allocate more of their budget towards travel expenses and cut back in other areas. The current price for a gallon of gas is $3.68 compared to $3.48 on July 4, 2013. The current average price for a gallon of gas in Alabama is $3.42 per gallon, compared to $3.24 a year ago.

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