Published: Jul 03, 2012 4:47 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 03, 2012 5:47 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- If you're planning to hit the road and the skies this holiday, you're not alone. AAA says more Americans will be driving and flying to their Fourth of July destinations than in the past five years. Gas prices are among the encouraging factors.

AAA predicts a five percent increase in travel this holiday compared to last year's. People with plans to get out of town this year seem more optimistic for those leisure plans.

Like 42 million other Americans, Sergio Soto plans to spend Fourth of July somewhere other than home.

"We're planning on meeting up with family in Hollywood, Florida, have a berbeque and do a little picnicking, and maybe watch some firework," Soto said.

With four percent more driving and a nine percent increase in people flying, AAA spokesperson Marsha Kut says a couple of factors affect the increase. One of those is a mid-week holiday, which allows more days to travel. The other is lower gas prices.

"We're going to see them spike a little bit more and then kind of level off. We don't see any drastic moves either way," said Kut.

Even those without plans to travel this week say the lure is still there, with gas prices more than 30 cents lower than last year.

"Two to three years ago, when it was so high, we really had to think about how far we wanted to go when it was $4 a gallon," said Ft. Myers resident, Margie Grasso.  

AAA says if you plan to drive a long distance this week, make sure your car is tuned up and properly maintainced. It says it's important not to overload the car either, especially with the heat we're experiencing around the country.