Americans Ready for Open Road This July 4

Last Fourth of July, sure there were fireworks. Yes, there were barbecues, and yes, Americans everywhere rang in the celebration of their Independence. But because of 2009's economic downturn, most of these Independence Day cheers came from, ironically, the confines of peoples' homes.

For 2010, however, it seems people are ready to experience the freedom of travel once again. AAA is projecting that the number of Americans traveling this Fourth of July holiday weekend (July 1-5) will increase 17.1 percent over last year, with approximately 34.9 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home.

"While financial markets continue to have volatility related to the European debt crisis, the landscape of the U.S. economy is in a much different place than it was one year ago," says Glen MacDonell, director of AAA Travel Services. He adds, "AAA travel agents continue to report double-digit increases in the percentage of travelers making advanced reservations for cruises, and vacation packages and online hotel bookings via AAA.com are up over last year - all of which are positive signs pointing to an increase in the number of Americans traveling this Fourth of July holiday."

What we can expect to see is an increase in road trips, which are expected to increase in popularity with 90 percent of travelers. Leisure air travel will also grow slightly with 1.56 million holiday flyers expected, up from 1.44 million last year.

These projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight, who teamed with AAA in 2009 to analyze travel trends during major holidays.

Visit www.aaa.com/news.

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