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ORLANDO, Fla. — Driving is about to become as American as hot dogs, apple pie and baseball during July 4th weekend.
AAA projects 41.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day, defined as July 1-5 this year. This figure marks the most travelers since 2007 and represents a 0.7-percent increase from the 41.6 million Americans who traveled 50 miles or more last year.
Among the nearly 42 million Americans expected to journey 50 or more miles, 85 percent (35.5 million) will drive to their holiday destinations.
“This Independence Day, more people will get in their cars, board airplanes and take buses, trains and cruise ships to celebrate our nation’s freedom with friends and family,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA president. “Students all across the nation are also celebrating freedom from homework, making this an ideal time for a family vacation. Independence Day is typically the busiest summer travel holiday for this reason, and more Americans are planning a holiday getaway than any year since 2007.”
Rising income driven by a strong employment market is one main reason for increased holiday travel this Independence Day. Gas prices are another big reason. According to AAA, gas prices averaged $2.78 per gallon nationwide on Thursday, 88 cents per gallon cheaper than Independence Day last year.
“Although some consumers are using their recent savings on gas to pay down debt and save, overall Americans are planning to travel in record numbers,” said Doney. “Independence Day gas prices are expected to be the lowest in at least five years, a welcome sign for the 35.5 million people planning a holiday road trip.”