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Independence Day travel expected to break records


Travel experts say pack your patience this holiday weekend. AAA Director of Public Relations Elizabeth Carey said this year, the organization is expecting record-setting numbers of people on the roads and in the air.

"Prices are up in some instances, and there's some limited availability in some instances, but at the same time, people still want to get out there,” she said. “They want to celebrate this holiday with their loved ones."

AAA said 50.7 million Americans are expected to travel across all modes of transportation. About 43.2 million of those travelers are planning to drive, and 4.17 million are expected to fly.

AAA Director of Travel Brian Murray said airline passengers are paying 40-50 percent more for flights, but that’s not slowing down demand.

"Many airlines are responding to the demand by hiring more staff and crew as well as retiring smaller aircraft and replacing them with larger ones to increase capacity,” he said.

Murray recommends travelers sign up for text alerts and arrive at least two hours early for their flights. Passengers leaving from major airports should arrive three hours early.

Ahead of millions hitting the road to their destinations, AAA Fleet Manager Todd Ingraham is advising everyone to make sure their cars are in good shape.

He recommends getting vehicles checked out by a trained mechanic. He said drivers can also check their tires’ tread with the upside-down coin trick.

"Take your coin, put it into the tire tread. If part of the president's head is covered by the tread, then you're good to go. Your tires do have adequate tread depth,” Ingraham said. “But if you can see his entire head, it’s now tire time."

He said when you’re evaluating your tires, think about pressure, alignment, rotation, and tread.

AAA also is recommending travelers make sure they always have a kit of emergency supplies on hand in their cars, including things they might need for their kids and pets.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.