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AAA Predicts Busy Fourth of July as Gas Prices Rise

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but gas prices are steadily climbing as we approach the Fourth of July. And if AAA is right, that means a lot of people will be shelling out extra cash.

First, the bad news. The Associated Press reports that "retail prices for gasoline have climbed over the past week and are headed back toward a national average of $2.80 to $2.90 per gallon." This represents a nearly 4-cent jump in the past week. Prices are actually below a month ago, but the recent trend is upward, and prices should rise to Memorial Day levels by the Fourth.

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And speaking of the Fourth of July, AAA is predicting a whopping 17.4 percent spike in travel this year, with 34.9 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home. Last year, just under 30 million travelers did so. 31.4 million people are expected to drive to their destination.

That said, it will be a more conservative holiday when it comes to spending. "Median spending is estimated to be $644 this Fourth of July," says AAA, "nearly $50 less than last year."

So, readers, what about you? What are your plans for the Fourth? Will you be driving, taking to the skies, or staying put? Leave a comment below with your plans.

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