Denver, June 26 – AAA Colorado projects 665,000 Coloradans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a less than one percent increase from last year and a 10.5 percent increase compared to this year’s Memorial Day holiday weekend. With school out for summer, the Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest summer travel holiday. Nationally, AAA projects 41 million Americans will travel between Wednesday, July 2 and Sunday, July 6.

The majority of Colorado travelers will be celebrating their freedom with a road trip, with more than eight in ten choosing to travel by automobile. Rising gas prices are forecasted to have little impact on auto travel. In most cases the decision to travel over the holiday weekend has already been made and travelers will adjust their budget, cutting back in other areas, to accommodate higher gas prices. The average price for regular unleaded gasoline has increased from $3.48 early in June to $3.60 during the last week of the month. The current price of gas is 7 cents lower than last year.

Holiday air travel is expected to remain at the same levels as last year with nearly 70,000 Coloradans flying to their July 4th destination. Air travelers will encounter airfares five percent lower than last year with the average round-trip, discounted fare for the top 40 U.S. routes costing $215, down from $228 last year.

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase nine percent from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $178 per night compared to $164 last year. Weekend daily car rental rates will average $58, the same as last year.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. AAA Colorado has more than 600,000 members and is an advocate for safety and security for all travelers.