Road trips rule in sagging July 4 holiday travel outlook - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Road trips rule in sagging July 4 holiday travel outlook

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Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 3:53 pm

Across the state and country, fewer travelers will be taking to the roads and skies to celebrate Independence Day, according to AAA Arizona.

According to the forecast, nearly 791,900 Arizonans are projected to travel 50 or more miles from home over the July 4 weekend, a drop of 3.1 percent compared with last year. Nationwide, 39 million Americans will travel over the holiday weekend, a 2.5 percent decline compared with a year ago.

"In addition to an overall drop in travel this holiday, we are seeing a shift in traveler composition," said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. "The trend of family travel is down, while solo and small party travel is up. Consequently, we're experiencing a dip in road trips, and recovery in air travel."

Among this year's trends:

- More travelers are going it alone rather than traveling with family when they travel by air. Arizona is expected to produce more solo air travelers and parties of two adults than any other region. In Arizona, 33 percent more travelers are going by plane than last year.

- Motor travel remains the dominant mode of transportation, despite high gas prices and a decline in road trips over last year. Road travel in Arizona is up 6 percent over last year.

- AAA says travelers will spend 79 percent more than last year, with increases in airfare and hotel and car rental rates.

- One out of four Arizonans will travel more than 1,500 miles from home, an increase of nearly 10 percent over last year.

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