U.S. travel over the Independence Day holiday weekend will drop 1.9 percent this year compared to 2008, a casualty of higher fuel prices and economic worries, travel and auto group AAA projected on Wednesday.

Approximately 37.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home during the holiday weekend, typically the busiest time for auto travel in the U.S., down from 37.8 million last year.

Ongoing fears about the state of the economy coupled with increasing joblessness and falling incomes are major factors in reducing Fourth of July holiday travel, AAA said.

Auto travel will drop 2.6 percent from last year's levels due to higher fuel prices. But air travel, which will account for just 5 percent of Fourth of July travel, will increase 4.9 percent due to lower fares and pent-up demand.