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1.8 million Ohioans expected to hit the road Fourth of July weekend

The 4th of July is always a big travel weekend, but AAA expects it to be extra busy this year.
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The 4th of July is always a big travel weekend, but AAA expects it to be extra busy this year. AAA expects nearly 43 million Americans, including nearly 1.8 million Ohioans, to travel at least 50 miles from home this Independence Day weekend, Thursday, June 30 to Monday, July 4. This marks the highest Fourth of July travel volume on record, and is an increase of 1.3 percent nationally and 2.3 percent in Ohio from last year.

A big reason for the spike is lower gas prices, higher consumer confidence and rising economic activity.

AAA anticipates most drivers will pay the lowest Independence Day gas prices since 2005. On average, U.S. drivers have saved about $20 billion on gasoline so far this year, compared with the same period in 2015. This has made travel more affordable than in recent years.

Fourth of July is typically the busiest summer travel holiday since school is out and many families take their big summer trip during this time.

About 84 percent of American travelers (more than 36 million people) and about 88 percent of Ohio travelers (nearly 1.6 million people) will drive to their destinations this Independence Day

But this will also be the seventh consecutive year of air travel growth, with more than 3.3 million Americans (nearly 79,000 Ohioans) flying this holiday.

Hotel costs have fallen slightly compared to last Independence Day. AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels will average $185 per night, while AAA Two Diamond Rated hotels will average $144 per night. Car rental rates have risen 6 percent to an average $75 per day over the holiday weekend.