Holiday road trips, summer gas prices highest in years - KMSP-TV

Holiday road trips, summer gas prices highest in years

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Nearly 35 million U.S. drivers will be taking road trips this Fourth of July holiday weekend — the highest number since 2007 — and they will be paying the price for it, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The recent spike in gas prices will make the July 4 holiday weekend the most expensive for drivers since 2008.

According to USA Today, prices will average $3.68 a gallon for regular-grade gas, up 17 cents from last year. That is still below the record price of $4.11 at the pump just after July 4, 2008.

Most people travel more than 50 miles for Independence Day weekend. And if you are planning a road trip this weekend, you may want to wait until you get out of Illinois to fill up your gas tank.

Average regular gasoline prices were even higher Tuesday in Illinois, at $3.83; in the Chicago area, at $3.98; and in Chicago, at $4.23. FOX 32's Joanie Lum found gas for $4.44 in the South Loop.

And all those prices were up from a year ago — just as AAA predicted that more Americans would be journeying 50 miles or more by car this Independence Day than on any other Fourth of July in the last seven years.

Across all modes of travel, 41 million Americans were expected to venture at least 50 miles this holiday, 80 percent of them by car.

In Illinois, 2.3 million Independence Day weekend travelers were expected, up 2.2 percent from last year, said Charlene Sligting, a AAA-Chicago spokeswoman.

And 2 million of them were expected to hit the road in a car, Sligting said.

Officials say gasoline prices would normally fall shortly after the holiday weekend. But, because of the crisis in Iraq and the price of oil, the gas priced keep climbing. But they say prices will fall at some point.

Those gas prices prompted some Chicagoans to make plans at home for the Fourth of July.

"Sometimes you just have to stay home and have fun, watch movies or whatever. You have to consolidate activities, shopping, the whole nine and stay out of that gas tank so much," one woman said.

FOXNews.com and the Sun Times Media Wire contributed to this story.

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