Fewer Americans Will Travel This Weekend Due to Gas Prices

Gas prices are affecting people’s travel plans for this 4th of July holiday weekend. Five out of every six travelers will make their trips by automobile, according to AAA.

Fewer Americans will travel during the Independence day weekend, consistently one of the heaviest travel periods of the year. AAA said it expects fewer travelers to travel, as high gas prices are putting the squeeze on lower-income households. Although gas prices have been decreasing recently,  they are still about $1 dollar higher than they were last year.

Between Thursday June 30 and Monday July 4, 39 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home, according to AAA Independence Day forecast. That is a 2.5 percent decrease from last year.

Gas prices were averaging $3.55 per gallon on Friday. On the same day last year the average cost of a gallon was $2.75, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

AAA estimates 39 million drivers will travel 50 miles or more away from home this holiday weekend –  from June 30 to July 4, 2011. That’s a forecasted decrease of 2.5 percent compared with a year ago, according to projections released last week. “As with the Memorial Day holiday, the rising cost of fuel is having a more significant impact on those with lower household discretionary spends and has shifted the demographics of the typical Independence Day traveler,” said Brent Hubele, AAA Travel vice president.

AAA also said the average distance traveled for the holiday is down to 573 miles from 617 miles last year while the median spending is expected to jump 25 percent to $807. However, the number of people flying is projected to increase by nine percent to three million travelers.