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June 15--Local summer travelers are thumbing their noses at escalating gas prices and are taking vacations by car this year. Tom Crosby, managing director of communications for AAA Carolina Motor Club in Charlotte, estimated a 10 percent increase in the number of tourists on the highways between June and September.
Last year, a record-breaking 4.5 million vacationers requested AAA trip planning services for interstate travel, he said. And since the car is still cheaper than most forms of transportation, travelers are more likely to send out for road maps this year than they are to order airline tickets.
"Gasoline prices are up and they are rising, but this is not …