Are you hitting the road this holiday weekend? Well you are not alone. Nearly 48 million Americans are expected to travel over the 4th of July weekend. AAA says that's a 40 percent increase from a year ago. But we all know last year was quite a bit different. Many folks were locked at home because of the pandemic. But we are now spreading our wings and traveling lots more.

I recently made a trip to Vegas and found big crowds at the airports. Even Shreveport Regional was hopping which was great to see.

How Many People Will Travel?

In Louisiana, AAA analyst Don Redman says more than 4.5 million travelers are expected to hit the roads for this long weekend. He says this is proof that folks are making plans and venturing out after being cooped up due to Covid.

Now we did set a travel record back in 2019 and we are not likely to reach those numbers this year. But Redman says we won't be too far off. He says air travel is up 164% compared to 2020 and that's no surprise. But he says the big gains we will see this year are folks traveling by car. Many will take long weekend getaways. Others will be kicking off a longer vacation trip which they have been eagerly awaiting.

He says of all the travel this weekend, more than 90 percent will be by car. That does bring up a little bit of a problem. Since the demand will be so high, gas prices are climbing. The average price across the Gulf Coast states is about 2.80 a gallon. But the best place to fill up is in the Baton Rouge area were prices are below $2.50 a gallon at many spots. The national average is $3.12 a gallon if you are venturing out of the south for your travel this weekend.

What Other Problems Will Travelers Face?

AAA says there is also another travel dilemma facing some travelers. Rental car prices are up 86% from a year ago. And in some case you might find it tough to get a car. Be sure you book well in advance.

AAA also finds hotel prices up too. You will pay about 35% more this year as compared to last year. But that really is like comparing apples to oranges. Because last year very few people were traveling and hotels were offering drastic price cuts to lure in some travelers.

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