AAA: Record July 4 Travel Expected Despite Fuel Prices

Travel in the United States this upcoming Independence Day weekend will be busier than ever despite high fuel prices, travel and automobile group AAA said Tuesday.

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Some 40.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this weekend, a 1.2 percent increase from last year, according to AAA's travel survey.

The agency also said it sees car travel up 1.3 percent on the biggest vacation travel weekend of the summer, with 34.3 million motorists filling the highways.

The boost in travel comes despite soaring gasoline prices, running at an average of $2.86 a gallon, or about 65 cents higher than a year ago.

"(These numbers) are in a range we expected, but they did come out a little better than we thought," said Mantill Williams, AAA's director of public affairs.

"That the economy is still doing OK and that the Fourth of July falls on a Tuesday makes it attractive for a lot of people to be vacationing," he added.

Williams said the strong July 4 survey figures come after a lackluster Memorial Day holiday.

AAA estimated 31.4 million cars hit the road for Memorial Day weekend.

"Historically, high gas prices alone don't tend to stop people from traveling, but we're starting to see car travel be affected," Williams said.

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