By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As we get ready for the busiest travel weekend of the summer, there is bad news at the pump. Analysts say gas prices are the highest they’ve been for the July 4th weekend in six years.

Kevin is recently out of the military. He and his family are in their minivan doing a cross-country tour. He says they’re spending upwards of $200 a day on gas on their trip which started in Colorado Springs.

“Yeah, I’ve noticed it,” Kevin says. “Where I come from gas is only $3.29 a gallon. That’s in Colorado Springs. That’s a major city. Out here, we’ve got almost four bucks.”

The national average is $3.68 a gallon, up 20-cents over last year. In Philadelphia, the average price is $3.79 a gallon. That’s 26-cents higher than at this time last year. The increase is being driven largely in part by the uncertainty in Iraq, which is driving up the cost of oil.

Despite the increase, an estimated 35-million Americans will drive 50 miles or more for the July 4th holiday, including 460,000 motorists from the Philadelphia region. Drivers say they have no other choice but to empty their wallets to fill the gas tank.

“It’s something that you have to pay for,” says Kim Makins of Spring City. “You don’t have any way around it. You don’t like it, you don’t want to pay for it, but you have to.”

Some fuel saving tips from AAA Mid-Atlantic include keeping luggage inside the vehicle rather than on the roof rack to lower the wind resistance. AAA also advises rolling up the windows and turning on the air conditioning during long drives.

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