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The slings and arrows of the economy apparently have cut into the Fourth of July travel plans of some Californians.

AAA on Monday projected that more than 4.6 million Californians will travel 50 miles or more from their homes over the three-day holiday weekend, a 2.3 percent decrease from last year. AAA blamed high gas prices, high unemployment and an unstable economy.

"Travelers are definitely feeling the budgetary squeeze this year," said AAA Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris. "Although some Californians may be postponing their travel plans, many others are bucking the economic headwinds by opting for shorter vacations and by cutting back on travel expenditures in order to afford a weekend getaway."

Over the past eight weeks, California motorists have gotten a break with slowly declining gasoline prices, but AAA noted that Monday's statewide average of $3.83 a gallon for regular unleaded is still 70 cents above this time last year.

AAA officials also speculated that many Californians are cutting back after stretching their budgets ,,, Read more:

To help you with your driving costs, we will be giving away a $25 ARCO Gift Card.  Simply 'like us' on facebook to enter! Click here now!

Posted 4:30 PM

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