By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Last year millions of Americans canceled holiday travel plans during the pandemic, but that is changing this year.

Whether by plane, train or automobile, AAA predicts 109 million people will travel during the holidays – 28 million more than last year.

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“This holiday travel season is going to feel like a pre-pandemic travel season,” says Andy Gross with AAA. He says airline travel is expected to see a 184% increase over last year. “There will be lines at the airport, so our advice is get there early.”

Sean Willis is flying for the holidays. He and his family are leaving town early and making up for lost time. Last year they didn’t travel because of the pandemic.

He says he’s well aware the trip comes as COVID cases are rising.

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“Of course, there is a little bit of concern here and there,” Willis says. “Everybody is masked up, vaccinated up, so outside of that I think we are comfortable.”

Along with longer lines vacationers can also expect higher prices this year. AAA says ticket prices during Christmas week are 5% higher than last year. Rates at mid-range hotels are up 36%, and rental cars are costing 20% more.

“Everything is just going to be a little more expensive, this year,” Gross says. “The one area where prices have been sliding recently is gasoline.”

The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded has dropped 9 cents in the past month. Drivers may be getting a break at the pump but there is expected to be plenty of traffic.

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AAA predicts 100 million Americans will hit the road for the holidays. Team