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Americans to travel for July 4th weekend in bigger numbers

Americans to travel for July 4th weekend in bigger numbers
Crowds gather at Exposition Park to watch Fourth of July fireworks last year. The number of Americans traveling for the holiday is expected to rise 1.9%. (Bethany Mollenkof)

Expect more traffic on the road this Fourth of July weekend, as 41 million Americans travel for the Independence Day holiday, a 1.9% increase over last year.

The forecast by AAA attributes the increase to a rise in consumer confidence, a greater willingness to take on credit card debt and an improved employment picture.

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Road trips will continue to be the most popular vacation option, with nearly 85% of Americans planning to drive for the holiday, according to AAA. This will come despite gasoline prices that will be the highest since 2008.

The national average price of a gallon of gas is about 20 cents higher than it was on July 4, 2013, according to the Auto Club. Hotel rates are also up between 9% and 15%, depending on the type of hotel, the AAA said.

Auto rental rates will be about the same as last year, while the average airfares to the most popular destinations will be down 5%.

The outlook is based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The holiday weekend was defined in the forecast as July 2 to July 6.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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