3-day weekend to kick-start July 4 travel

NEW YORK — Highways will be packed once again this July Fourth weekend, with 41 million Americans expected to travel at least 50 miles or more.

That’s up about 2 percent from the 40.3 million who traveled during last year’s Independence Day weekend, according to auto club AAA.

The calendar is helping to push up the number of vacationers. The holiday falls on a Friday this year, making it an easy three-day weekend for many travelers.

As usual, the vast majority of travelers will be using their cars: 85 percent. Gas currently costs $3.68 a gallon, up nearly 13 cents from the same time last year. That means a family driving 200 miles on highways will pay about 75 cents more in total for their holiday gas this year.

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