Local travel booming, domestic prices surging

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — With an estimated 47 million Americans travelling between July 1-5, this Independence Day weekend is expected to be the second highest ever on record for travel.

Americans are eager to see the county and visit family and friends, so domestic travel prices are surging.

“I have never seen U.S. prices like this,” said Lindsay Smith, owner L+S Travel.

Compared to 2019, L+S Travel, based in Spring Mills, said they’re seeing almost double the amount of clients.

“As soon as the governor really lifted the restrictions within Pennsylvania, we are starting to see a really high demand of people just ready to go,” said Smith. “They are calling us on Thursday and saying, ‘Hey, I want to leave Monday morning.’”

Heading into the holiday weekend, PennDOT is keeping an eye on extra busy roads. They tell drivers, traffic is most likely from the number of cars on the road, not construction or detours.

“There are always efforts that we make in regard to roadway construction to clear zones as much as possible because holiday traffic does tend to be heavier,” said Marla Fannin, community relations coordinator for PennDOT District 2-0. “While folks will find some restrictions out there, they will also find that some projects have been cleared to the extent that we can do that.”

They suggest visiting the 511PA website to plan ahead, see conditions, and watch traffic cams in real time.

From the highway to the skyway… 2019 was a record year for University Park Airport in State College, with over 193,000 flyers departing.

That went down about 60% in 2020, but as of June 30, 39,000 people have departed from University Park in 2021.

“Slowly recovering, but there certainly is a noticeable increase in passengers and airport operations in general compared to this same time last year,” said Bryan Rodgers, director of University Park Airport.

Rodgers said the four airlines at University Park have increased the number of flights they’re offering, following the local demand.

“For the flights that we do have, pretty full, a lot of the times they’re overbooked and I think certainly as we go into the fall we’ll continue to have a full complement of flights here,” said Rodgers.

Whether by car or plane, these organizations say safety should be the top priority.

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