July 4th holiday travel down slightly

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    It’s almost here – in less than two weeks people across the nation will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday and now is the time to finalize your travel plans.

    No matter where you’re going, you’ll have plenty of company as millions of Americans will hit the road, Some 40.8 million in fact, and most will drive more than 50 miles or more to get fireworks, attend barbecues and Independence Day celebrations.

    According to AAA, the number of people traveling out of town is down this year, but part of that is attributed to the holiday weekend being one day shorter than 2012 when the holiday fell on a Wednesday.

    Most people will travel by car, 84 percent, while another 8 percent will fly. Travelers can avoid backups on the roads and at the airport by avoiding the two busiest days – July 3 as they head out and July 7 as people return from their destinations.

    Officials said it won’t be a cheap weekend. Median spending is expected to be $747. You might notice an uptick in your hotel bill over last year. AAA reports a 4 percent increase in rates over the 2012 holiday at hotels that meet its 3-diamond level.

    You’ll also see a much bigger increase if you’re renting a car. Rates will average $58 a day, up 29 percent from last year. Gas prices are slightly higher than they were last year, but they’re down from highs earlier in 2013.

    Happy and safe travels this Fourth of July!



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