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Travel for Fourth of July expected to return to pre-pandemic levels

AAA Alabama is expecting the number of people traveling for the Fourth of July Holiday period to be close to pre-pandemic levels.

But, with more people traveling, the price of gas is also back up to around what was normal in 2019. Paula Twidale, senior vice president at AAA Travel, said things are shaping up for a normal summer, as far as travelers go.

“Travel is in full swing this summer, as Americans eagerly pursue travel opportunities they’ve deferred for the last year-and-a-half,” Twidale said. “We saw strong demand for travel around Memorial Day and the kick-off of summer, and all indications now point to a busy Independence Day to follow.”

More than 47.7 million people are expected to hit the road this weekend, slightly fewer than the 48.9 million people who traveled before the coronavirus pandemic in 2019. AAA statistics showed that the total number of people traveling during the pandemic dropped to 34.2 million in 2020.

Because of the reduced travel in 2020, gas prices also bottomed out due to lack of demand. In 2020, the national average for a gallon of regular gas dropped to $2.17 compared to the current national average of $3.12. In Alabama, the current average is $2.81 compared to $1.88 in 2020.

To help keep Alabama’s roadways as safe as possible, Alabama State Troopers will be embarking on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign once again this year.