Fourth of July travelers hit the road for weekend festivities
WAUSAU (WAOW) -
Nearly 900,000 people are expected to hit the roads for festivities around Wisconsin. AAA estimates there will be more travelers this year than last for many different reasons.
"My wife and me are going to meet our family up in Minnesota," said Ray Bender, who lives in Kronenwetter. "We've rented a chalet up there and we're going to spend a week up there."
According to AAA, most holiday travelers in Wisconsin will road-trip to their final destination.
"The biggest role that's spurring the increase of travel from last year to this year is the price of gas is going down," said AAA sales and service agent Brent Dabler.
With gas prices near $3.50 a gallon in the Wausau area, plenty of drivers stopped to fill up before heading out. Since the holiday falls on a Wednesday, travel experts say holiday travelers have extra options for taking time off.
"During the middle of the week, it opens it up for both weekends -- the weekend before and the weekend after as well, with the week in between," said Dabler.
AAA reports travelers today are more thrifty than in previous years, enjoying their vacation without breaking the bank.
"Although we're having more people traveling, they are conscious about their money and they're going to be spending less money," said Dabler.
But not everyone's leaving town. Some say they can enjoy the big three -- friends, family and fireworks -- from right here at home.
"My daughter's going to go to her grandfather's birthday," said Brian Penny, who lives in Wausau. "We're going to see some fireworks. Probably do some fishing, hanging out, stay local."
"We do special things, like we get to see fireworks and stuff," said Brian's daughter, Sage.
Regardless of the cost, many people say it's worth it to spend the holidays with people who matter most.
"You have to get there," said Bender. "Either you fly, you walk or drive and walking wouldn't be an option so driving's it. Whatever the price is."