Holiday travel up, despite rising gas prices

Average gas prices about 20 cents higher than last year's Independence Day.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– As millions of people are expected to travel by car for this year’s Fourth of July weekend, the latest AAA travel report shows many of those people will be paying for their trip by credit card.

The report indicates that there will be more people taking a vacation for the long holiday weekend than did last year’s Independence Day holiday, even though gas prices are nearly 20 cents higher than the same time last year.

A regular gallon of unleaded gas cost an average of $3.51 compared to the current price $3.69 a gallon.  AAA representatives told 22News that the increase in gas prices means more Americans who plan travel will likely be using credit cards to pay for the trip.

“Typically, we see that as we’ve seen an increase in gas prices over the years, that people will spend their money less on expense of restaurants, maybe stay at less expensive hotel but they’ll shift their budget,” Sandra Marsian of AAA Pioneer Valley said.

The travel report also says the volume of people on the road next weekend is expected to be the highest its been in the last 10 years, with an estimated 35 million people traveling by car.  The number of travelers going more than 50 miles away from home is about 14% higher than the number on the recent Memorial Day Weekend.

While those looking to travel by plane for their long weekend can expect to see a slight decrease in airfare, rental car costs are about the same as last year at around $58.00, but you can expect to pay more for your hotel stay.

“There’s more people traveling, so there’s more people booking hotels, so their occupancy rate is high.  It means they can raise the rates for the hotel because of the demand,” Marsian said.

Those of you staying in a hotel will be paying an average of nearly $178.00 per night, compared to last year’s average of about $164.00 per night.

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