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AAA predicts a busy travel weekend around the July 4 holiday both nationwide and in Oklahoma.
The group projects 42.3 million
people in the United States will travel 50 or more miles, a 4.9-percent
increase over the 40.3 million who traveled during the same period last year.
In Oklahoma, AAA expects 543,500 people to travel, a 4.7-percent increase in
travelers over the holiday weekend last year.
With the holiday mid-week, AAA expects many to take their vacations to include the holiday with extra days before or after the actual day. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Tuesday, July 3 to Sunday, July 8.
The increased travelers will tie the 2007 record, and is up 42 percent from 2009.
“AAA’s projection for a decade-high number of Independence Day travelers is being fed by Americans’ appetite for travel, a mid-week holiday and lower gas prices,” Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma, said. “This is the second holiday this year when travelers have indicated a determination to travel while economizing on other aspects of their trip.”
Of those heading out for the holidays, AAA predicts about 35.5 million people plan to travel by car. The group predicts 468,000 Oklahomans will be among those taking road trips. That number is a 3.8-percent increase over last year.
Lower gasoline prices are expected to spur some of the road travel. AAA reports the price of gasoline is a major factor in spurring intentions to travel this Independence Day holiday. The current Oklahoma average price for regular gasoline is $3.40 per gallon, 12 cents below the price recorded on June 19, 2011, while today’s national average price, $3.50 per gallon, is 15 cents less than at this same time last year.
For those taking flights, AAA expects more than 3.2 million travelers will fly somewhere over the holiday weekend, a 9-percent increase over the 2.9 million who took to the skies last year. Oklahoma is expected to see a 9.7-increase in air passengers this year with about 9,700 Oklahomans expected to fly somewhere over the holiday.