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Americans get travel bug again

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 2:31 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 3, 2021 at 2:51 PM AKDT
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(CNN) – With COVID-19 cases down in much of the United States, Americans are traveling again.

People are driving and flying in numbers unheard of since the start of the pandemic.

“As more and more Americans get vaccinated, there’s just a larger consumer confidence in terms of travel and we’re seeing that already,” said Jeanette C. McGee with AAA.

With more of us hitting the roads, gas prices are rising.

Monday’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline was $2.90.

That’s up a penny from last week.

A year ago, gasoline slumped to $1.78 a gallon.

“It’s still different. We’re still traveling with masks. We’re still traveling with hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, calling ahead to understand if there are restrictions in place,” McGee said.

“But when it comes to the volume of people traveling. That’s definitely going to feel more normal than we have seen in the past year.”

People are taking to the skies, too.

On Sunday, the Transportation Security Administration screened more than 1.6 million people across U.S. airports.

That’s nearly 10 times higher than a year ago, but still well below pre-pandemic levels.

“If you’re flying, you should not expect an empty plane these days,” according to Brian Kelly, travel expert and founder if The Points Guy.

“The TSA is screening about 65% of passengers from pre-pandemic, which is pretty high considering there’s almost no international flights today.”

The TSA has screened more than a million passengers a day since March 11.

Experts also say guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are making people feel safer while traveling.

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