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43 million to hit the road for July 4


Summer's on in full, and AAA is predicting that 43 million Americans, more than ever, will be on the roads for the 3-day weekend (or 4 if you're good for an early getaway). The auto club actually includes Thursday, June 30th in the holiday period as well.

Lower gas prices are a big factor, AAA says, with prices the lowest since 2005. They calculate that U.S. drivers have saved more than $20 billion so far this year compared to last, and many are putting the savings into vacations and holidays. At the present rate, 2016 may be a record year for summer travel.

Air travel is also benefiting; while 85% of holiday travel will be by car (up by 1.2%% over 2015), air travelers will be up by 2.2%. And cruises, trains and buses will see a 2% rise to 3.3 million travelers.

Not that all will be easy: The AAA's network of service techs are getting ready for more than 370,000 expected calls from travelers with dead batteries, flat tires, or locked out of their cars.

Photo by Marilyn Jones: Fourth of July, Bristol, RI

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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