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Fourth of July travel expected to surge past pre-pandemic levels


SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Airport traffic was busy this weekend, ahead of what promises to be a busy Independence Day holiday.

Pat Tabidyiam just flew back to San Diego from a trip to Kansas.

“Haven’t flown since 2019. Haven’t been home since 2017. It was time to visit my mother,” said Tabidyiam.

Denver resident Jessica Wongward and her baby were in town to visit family.

“It was our first trip since COVID. Felt safe. Everyone wearing masks, and we’re all vaccinated,” said Wongward.

As vaccinations climb, and with states relaxing COVID restrictions, the travel industry is surging.

“This travel season is going to be hot, just like the weather is going to be hot,” said AAA spokesperson Doug Shupe.

The AAA is forecasting 47.7 million travelers this holiday, the second-highest total ever.

“So many people are just ready to get out there again. They’ve had to place their plans on hold. What we’re hearing from our members is they are ready to travel,” said Shupe.

Air travel this holiday is expected to be about 90% of pre-pandemic levels, while car travel is expected to exceed 2019 levels by 5%.

“Of the 3.3 million Southern Californians traveling, 2.8 million will be taking a road trip,” said Shupe.

And this holiday, the top destinations for Southern Californians are close to home.

“According to our surveys, the top destinations for Southern Californians are Las Vegas, San Diego, and the national parks,” said Shupe.

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