(WKOW) -- COVID-19 cases are down in much of the U.S., and the travel boom experts have been predicting is here.
Before summer even rolls around, a record number of people are driving and flying places.
"As more and more Americans get vaccinated, there's just a larger consumer confidence in terms of travel and we're seeing that already," said Jeanette C. McGee with AAA.
Gas prices are already going up. AAA reported the national average for a gallon of gas Monday was $2.90, up one cent from last week.
However a year ago, the price was $1.78.
"It's still different. We're still traveling with masks. We're still traveling with hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, calling ahead to understand if there are restrictions in place. But when it comes to the volume of people traveling. That's definitely going to feel more normal than we have seen in the past year," said McGee.
People are also getting back on planes. On Sunday, the TSA screened more than 1.6 million people across the U.S., nearly ten times higher than a year ago.
That number is still significantly lower than pre-pandemic passenger levels though.
"If you're flying, you should not expect an empty plane these days," said Brian Kelly with The Point Guys. "The TSA screening about 65% of passengers from pre-pandemic, which is pretty high considering there's almost no international flights today."
TSA has screened more than a million passengers every day since March 11.
Travel experts said more people getting vaccinated and new CDC guidelines are making people feel safer and fueling the travel industry.
The TSA is preparing for an increase in travel during the summer months. In February, the agency announced it was looking to hire 6,000 new officers by summer.