Recent surveys show that Americans plan to travel more and have many of cookouts, but spend less during the Independence Day holiday this week.

Spending during the holiday is expected to drop 12% compared to last year, to about $191 per person, with two-thirds of all Americans planning just a cookout and a significant minority of people not celebrating at all.

The retail federation survey shows that 67.6% of Americans will choose a cookout or barbeque, 48.5% will watch fireworks and 12.6% will travel or take a vacation over the holiday. Around 42.3 million people are expected to drive 50 miles or more, up 4.9% from 2011, due to the lower gas price, $3.33 a gallon from $3.55 a year ago.

AAA estimates that a person will spend around $749 on trips, down 7% from last year’s $800. People in Midwest are expected to spend $211 per person, while those in the Northeast will spend $40 less. The surveys also show that 18% of all trips will be in excess of 1,500 miles, up from last year’s 10%, mainly due to the fact that the holiday falls on a Wednesday, and so Americans can extend their trips up to 9 days.


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