Fourth of July travel: Here's the one day to avoid hitting the road

As you make your Fourth of July travel plans, try to avoid making your getaway on July 3.

Your trip could take four times longer than normal because of traffic delays on the day before the holiday, according to AAA Carolinas.

The auto club estimates 1,36 million North Carolinians will travel 50 miles or more away from home this year, an increase of 4.3 percent from last year.

"With low gas prices this season and school being out for the summer, Carolinians are planning to travel in record-breaking numbers to celebrate the Fourth," said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. "This year, the holiday falls on a Thursday, so many will take the whole week or create a long weekend to travel."

AAA Carolinas points to several factors in explaining the increase, including lower gas prices, a strong economy, low unemployment, robust consumer spending, and rising disposable incomes.

North Carolina's current average price of gas is $2.43, 23 cents less year-over-year and it is projected to drop even lower into the summer.

The group reminds you to make sure your vehicle is road-trip ready by remembering "B-E-T" -- have your battery tested, look for engine coolant leaks and check tire condition.

AAA Carolinas also reports 106,800 North Carolinians are flying to their Fourth of July destinations, a 5.3 percent increase from last year.

Here are the top destinations for Carolinians, according to AAA travel bookings:

By vehicle:
  • Myrtle Beach

  • Charleston

  • New Orleans


  • By air:
  • Iceland

  • Italy

  • France
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