AAA expects record travel for July 4th weekend

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LEE COUNTY, Fla.- AAA projects 41.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day, the most since 2007 and a 0.7 percent increase from the 41.6 million people who traveled last year. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 1 to Sunday, July 5.

“Independence Day is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, because families can take extended vacations without worrying about rushing their kids back for school,” said Brent Stahlheber, Sr. Vice President – Brand Marketing and Travel, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “This Independence Day will see the most travelers since the great recession, which will continue to stimulate the economy and the travel industry as a whole.”

Rising income, driven by a strong employment market, is prompting more Americans to take a holiday trip this year. Despite recent seasonal increases, gas prices remain well below year-ago levels, which has helped boost Americans’ disposable income.

“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 Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Independence Day gas prices are expected to be the lowest in at least five years, which is great news for the nearly 85 percent of travelers who plan to drive.”

In Florida, more than 2 million are expected to travel and almost all of them will drive. The average price of a gallon of regular gas in Fort Myers today is about $2.63. Last year at this time it was $3.65.

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