Cheapest gas prices in a decade to fuel record July 4 travel
The lowest gas prices in more than a decade are expected to spur record travel this Fourth of July Weekend, AAA said Monday.
More than 43 million Americans are expected to take to the roads, rails, seas and skies between Thursday, June 30, and Monday, July 4 – 5 million more travelers than over Memorial Day Weekend.
About 84 percent of travelers will drive – up 1.2 percent from last year, AAA said, and they'll enjoy deep discounts at the pump. As benchmark crude oil prices once again hovered below $50 Monday – suppressed by a glut of supply and further sunk by the United Kingdom's stunning vote last week to leave the European Union – gasoline was fetching an average $2.31. That's 47 cents cheaper than last year, and the lowest price since 2005.
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The savings have translated into a windfall for travelers, with drivers saving about $20 billion on gasoline so far this year compared to the same period last year.
"We are well on our way for 2016 to be a record-breaking year for summertime travel," Marshall Doney, AAA president and CEO, said in a statement. "This trend is welcome news for the travel industry."
Airfare is expected to be about 9 percent cheaper, driving an expected 2.2 percent rise in air travel from last year. Buses, trains and cruises will likely enjoy a similar combined increase in travelers, with cruises alone seeing a 35 percent jump from last year.