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Gas Prices Take Rare Dip in Time for Holiday

Forget $5; most Americans will see prices closer to $3.50 for Independence Day.

by on Jun.30, 2011

With fuel prices down, motorists have reason to celebrate over the long Independence Day weekend.

Don’t be surprised if the local market marks up prices on hot dogs, ground beef and barbecue supplies in the coming days as they take advantage of the Independence Day holiday – but getting to the store might prove cheaper than anticipated.

Despite recent forecasts that gasoline prices might skyrocket to $5 a gallon by the Fourth of July, those predictions have proved to be duds.  A variety of factors – including the White House decision to tap the national strategic oil reserves – are getting credit for the unexpected plunge in prices, which peaked at around $4 a gallon in late spring.

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Many service stations owners are still expected to nudge their numbers up, however, taking advantage of travelers who might be less likely than normal to look for the best bargains.  On the other hand, retail giant Wal-Mart announced that it will cut the price of fuel sold at many of its stores across the country by a dime, a discount it says it will maintain for the next 90 days.


Fourth of July Travel Expected to Increase

Travel by automobile continues to be dominant mode of U.S. transportation. AAA predicts an increase in Gulf Coast traffic.

by on Jun.23, 2010

AAA today projected the number of Americans traveling this Fourth of July holiday weekend will increase 17.1% from 2009. This means about 34.9 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home.

Last year, 29.8 million Americans traveled during the same period. The 2010 Fourth of July holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, July 1 to Monday, July 5.

“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,” said Glen MacDonell, director, AAA Travel Services. “It is encouraging to see such growth this summer as Americans take to the road to visit family, friends and great vacation destinations.”

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As the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico continues, the impact on tourism in the Gulf Coast region is still unknown. However, currently most beaches remain open and while AAA offices have reported member inquiries regarding travel to the Gulf Coast, they have not experienced widespread cancellations. Travelers visit these communities for reasons other than boating and swimming including visiting family and friends, state and national parks, golfing, shopping, dining and nightlife. Therefore, AAA is projecting an increase in travel in states in the Gulf Coast region as well.