The Fourth of July holiday weekend is jamming U.S. airports with their biggest crowds since the pandemic began in 2020.
About 2.49 million passengers went through security checkpoints at U.S. airports Friday, surpassing the previous pandemic-era record of 2.46 million reached earlier in the week, according to figures released Saturday by the Transportation Security Administration.
The escalating numbers show leisure travelers aren’t being deterred from flying by rising fares, the ongoing spread of COVID-19 or worries about recurring flight delays and cancellations.
The human drive to bust out and explore is helping fuel a busy travel summer generally, packing flights and museums despite rising coronavirus infections and inflation.
That's good economic news: By some estimates, tourism provides work for one in 10 people on Earth.
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Many places, particularly those that have loosened safety requirements, are seeing what passes for a go-go summer of sunny optimism and adventure.
“They are saying it's the summer of revenge travel,” Pittsburgh resident Theresa Starta, 52, said as she gazed across one of Amsterdam's canals at crowds thronging to the Dutch capital.
U.S. air travel is likely to set a pandemic-era record at least once over the weekend. But traffic on the highway is heavy too.
AAA predicts that nearly 48 million people will travel at least 50 miles or more from home over the weekend, slightly fewer than in 2019 -- even with gas averaging nearly $5 a gallon nationwide.
For the traveler in the summer of 2022, this all means more strategic planning. Here are some tips to up your chances of getting where you want to go this summer.