TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — If you’re planning to hit the road for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, you’re not alone. A record number of people will be traveling this year.

Derek Valcourt has more on why a big rush is expected.

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The holiday falls on a Friday this year. Travel experts say record numbers of people are deciding to take advantage and make this a long weekend out of town.

For many, it’s the weekend for backyard fun.

“Going to have a party by the pool at the house,” one man said.

“I’m going to blow off some fireworks in my backyard,” said another.

But more and more, Marylanders are choosing to hop a plane or take a long drive. In fact, AAA Mid-Atlantic says a record-breaking 828,000 Marylanders will drive or fly 50 or more miles from the comfort of home next weekend.

That’s up 1.6 percent from last year and up 44 percent from the 2009 at the height of the great recession when holiday travel for the Fourth of July hit a low from the previous years.

“Well, it seems a steadily improving economy has spurred consumer confidence in spending. Marylanders are willing to pull out their credit card to help pay for a trip this year,” said Christine Delise, AAA Mid-Atlantic.

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Nationwide, about 35 million travelers will hit the roads, and they’ll be digging a little deeper into their pockets. Gas prices in Maryland are up a few cents over last month and up 20 cents over this time last year.

While I-95 will be crowded, one of the busiest spots will be at the Bay Bridge.

“Probably get caught in a little traffic. Lot of people going down to the ocean that day,” one man said.

And expect lots of company at the airports, too. More than 3 million Americans will fly this weekend despite the higher costs of air travel.

“Living in the city, it gets kind of crowded when everyone comes in to see the fireworks, so it’s nice to actually leave the city. So that’s one of the reasons why we’re going,” one man said.

AAA expects more people will travel this Fourth of July weekend than Labor Day or Memorial Day weekends.

Travel by air is expected to be at its highest since 2004.

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