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Car trips costly this July 4th

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Posted: 10 am ET

With summer vacation in full swing and consumer spending on the rise, more Americans will take to their cars for a road trip this July 4th holiday, and they'll spend more than last year, according to AAA.

An estimated 34.8 million Americans will take a car trip for this Independence Day holiday, defined by AAA as from July 2 through July 6. This is the largest number for holiday travel since 2007 and represents nearly 5 million more travelers than for the Memorial Day holiday.

"Optimistic Americans are more willing to take on debt this year, dusting off their credit cards to pay for a much-needed Independence Day getaway," said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney.

That's a good thing, because a July 4th getaway this year is going to be more costly at the gas pump. AAA expects that Americans getting on the road to celebrate Independence Day will pay the highest gas prices since 2008, with prices averaging about 20 cents higher nationwide than for the same time period last year.

If your Independence Day road trip has you driving in some hot climates, check out these tips for how to prep your car for hot weather.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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