Reporting Jim Donovan
By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Are you planning on heading out of town for the fourth of July? If so, you’ve got a little more than a week to finalize your travel plans and no matter where you’re going, you’ll have plenty of company.
According to AAA some 40.8 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more to get their fireworks, barbecues and Independence Day celebrations. That’s a slight decrease from last year, but the holiday weekend is also one day shorter than 2012 when the 4th fell on a Wednesday.
Looking to avoid back ups on the roads and at the airport? You can expect to see the heaviest volume on July 3rd and the 7th as people go to and return from their destinations.
Most people, 84 percent, will be traveling by car. Eight percent will travel by plane and it won’t be a cheap weekend.
Median spending is expected to be $747.
You might notice an uptick in your hotel bill over last year. AAA reports a four percent increase in rates over the 2012 holiday at hotels that meet its three-diamond level.
You’ll see a much bigger increase if you’re renting a car. Rates will average $58 a day, up 29 percent from last year.
Gas prices are slightly higher than they were last year, but they’re down from highs earlier in 2013. The national average of self-serve is around $3.57 a gallon.
Just in case you were interested, people in Hawaii are paying the most to fill up right now at the pumps, while gas is cheapest in South Carolina.