AAA projects Fourth of July travel to rise by nearly 5 percent

The Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, but a midweek holiday won’t slow down the travel plans for many Americans.

Citing comparatively low gas prices as one reason, AAA is projecting that 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday period, up nearly 5 percent from a year ago.

In fact, this year should tie the past decade’s previous high mark set in 2007, as many folks make five- and six-day mini-vacations out of the Fourth as they take off work days either before or after the Wednesday holiday, AAA said; June 29, a Friday, will be the single day with the most expected travel before July 4.

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Nationwide, roughly 35.5 million people plan to travel by automobile during this year’s Fourth of July holiday period, setting the high-water mark for the decade, AAA said.

Earlier this week, AAA reported that the average price for gas in Massachusetts was $3.439 a gallon in its latest weekly survey. That’s down 46 cents from the average in mid April. A year ago at this time, the Massachusetts average price was $3.68 a gallon.