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Transportation and Mobility

Traveling For 4th Of July? Expect Traffic Closer To Pre-Pandemic Levels

Cars crawl along the 110 Freeway through downtown Los Angeles as a person walks across on an overpass above.
A pedestrian crosses an overpass above afternoon rush hour traffic in Los Angeles on April 26, 2021.
(Frederic J. Brown
AFP via Getty Images)
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Expect to share the road with a lot of other people if you're going on vacation during the 4th of July holiday weekend.

With many COVID-19 restrictions now lifted across the state, more Californians plan on traveling for Independence Day.

The Auto Club estimates that over three million SoCal residents will hit the road next weekend. That's slightly below the numbers recorded for 2019's summer travel season, but it's up 46% from last year, when we were a few months into the pandemic.

The vast majority of vacationers plan to drive, and Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring said that means rental cars are getting hard to find, with rates getting pricier as a result:

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"Look at the availability of rental cars first ... Because it would be sad if you booked your hotel and booked your airfare and realized you didn't have a way to get around because there weren't any rental cars."

Spring said a lot of people are vying for wide open spaces right now — and heading to national parks like Yosemite in record numbers.

His recommendation? Avoid the crowds by checking out some lesser-known state parks instead.