NORFOLK-- In recent years gas prices have dropped in the weeks leading up to Independence Day, but AAA of Tidewater Virginia said that crude oil costs have gone up as a result of the violence in Iraq.

Despite the increase in gas prices, AAA predicts that more than a million Virginians will travel 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend. That almost a two-percent increase over last Fourth of July weekend.

Across the country 8 out of 10 travelers are expected to drive to their 4th of July desitnations., making this weekend the largest for road trips in the last 14 years.

AAA said more people traveling this holiday weekend shows a boost in consumer confidence. While the higher gas prices are not expected to stop people from hitting the road, AAA said people may cut back on dining, shopping or other trip activities.

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