AAA: More people traveling for holiday this year

By Gary Liberatore

(WKTV) - AAA estimates more than 41 million Americans will be traveling over this year's Fourth of July holiday.  That is up about 2 percent over 2013, and that's despite higher gasoline prices this year.

Utica AAA General Manager Ed Welsh says a big reason why more people are traveling is because Americans are feeling good about the economy and willing to use their credit cards for travel.

"One of the interesting things we've seen in our surveys is that people don't have a lot of money, but they're willing to use their credit cards for this weekend," Welsh said.  "This is something we have not seen since before the recession started."

Welsh says the average price per gallon of unleaded gasoline in the greater Utica area is about $3.90 per gallon.

"The highest we ever paid was in 2008, it was $4.25 a gallon.  I always want to look at the silver lining, glass half full, we're not going to see that, we'll be in the $3.90s unless you you're smart enough in your travels to get into New Jersey, where its 30 cents per gallon less."

We talked to some travelers as they were filling up their tanks in North Utica, many on their way to the New York State Thruway to head to their destinations. 

But Roger Haylett of Utica told us he wasn't going out of town, but rather having a picnic at his home with family.  He does say no matter whether you are traveling or staying at home, July 4th is really called Independence Day and is about more than just barbecuing and fireworks.

"Flags, honor, honoring all the vets...and enjoying it at home, safely off the road."

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