By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A 36% increase in Independence Day travel is expected this year, with nearly 2.6 million Floridians planning to take trips for the holiday weekend, according to the AAA auto club.

The increase comes after many people stayed home in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While all modes of transportation are expected to see increases this year, AAA estimates that more than 90% of people will drive to their destinations.

READ MORE: North Miami Beach Mayor Creates GoFundMe Page To Help Displaced Crestview Towers Residents

In Florida, gas prices will be at a seven-year high, with motorists expected to pay an average $2.98 for regular unleaded gas.

That is up 11 cents in the past month and 95 cents from a year ago.

But AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said the higher gas prices will not stop Floridians from taking summer vacations.

READ MORE: South Florida Doctors Reiterate There’s No Proof COVID Vaccine Causes Female Infertility

“So many people have spent more time at home during the past year than they probably ever have,” Jenkins said. “Now is the time that people are anxious to just get out and just do something. Oftentimes, they don’t care what it is. They just want to be able to do something. That’s why we are suggesting that higher gas prices are not going to be a deterrent.”

The busiest driving days are expected to be Thursday and Friday.

The number of people flying for the Fourth of July weekend is projected to reach 90% of pre-pandemic levels.

MORE NEWS: Have You Seen Ashley Espinoza-Sanchez? Missing Woman Last Seen At Hard Rock Stadium

(©2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.) Team