Holiday Travelers Getting More Bang for Their Buck

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More than 42 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Fourth of July -- nearly a 5 percent increase over last year, according to the American Automobile Association.

One reason: falling gas prices. The current national average for a gallon of regular is $3.33, down nearly 22 cents from a year ago.

AAA also reports that 4 percent of all holiday travelers will be driving. Even so, traffic might not be as bad as in years past.

"It's more staggered in other words, and it's not going to be this big, huge crush like we see for a usual three-day weekend," Jeffrey Spring, with AAA of Southern California, said.

While the roads may be clear, you can expect a lot of foot traffic if you're headed for the beach.

"Just 'cause it gets really crowded with everyone coming into the coastal communities, like Fourth of July's really popular around here," Marc Fernandez, from Fountain Valley, Calif., said.

"I think the biggest impact will be going toward the beaches," Spring said. "And a lot of the activities and festivities happen down in the beach community."

The savings on gas won't translate into more holiday spending. Americans are expected to spend only about $749 per person on their trips, down 7 percent from last year.

Travel experts say people want to get away with their families, but they don't want to break the bank.

If you decide not to hit the road and instead stay in the office, chances are you won't get much done. One study shows workplace productivity falls by 20 percent in the summer.


American Automobile Association. http://www.aaa.com

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