The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reports traveler numbers daily, and if you look at this chart, the difference between average numbers in the beginning of 2021 compared to today will astound you. In January 2021, somewhere in the range of 500,000 to 800,000 travelers were passing through TSA checkpoints on any given day. Today, that figure has exceeded two million. After well over a year of having to stay home, people are ready to go anywhere away from home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated travel guidelines states fully vaccinated individuals face low risk when flying and is is likely fueling the surge in airfare travel. Just as good old-fashioned supply and demand can drive up prices in just about anything, it’s certainly doing so for vacations. The nearly-free flights people found in the early summer and late spring seem to have vanished.
So what happens to those who have the travel bug but don’t want to pay the high prices to fly? Or how about those who still aren’t ready to subject themselves to crowds? It’s expected that some individuals are still struggling with anxiety about COVID-19. With the delta variant on the rise and evidently highly contagious, not everyone is ready to cram into a plane with hundreds of people for hours on end. If you can relate to this, you can still satisfy your wander lust with these lit road trips across America.
The Highway-1 Up The California Coast
California Highway-1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, runs along some of the best towns to visit on the California Coast. A popular route is to begin in Santa Monica, California and go all the way to San Francisco. From Santa Monica, you’ll pass through the iconic Cliffside surf town of Malibu where you can’t go wrong with stopping at one of the many seafood shacks serving up fish tacos. From there, you’ll continue on to Ventura, where a good stretch of the highway will have nothing but gorgeous ocean to one side and beautiful mountains on the other. Santa Barbara is definitely a stop worth making. This subtly celebrity-studded, chic beach town is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently bought a house in the neighborhood of Montecito. The PCH will then take you up through wine country. Make a stop in gorgeous Carmel-by-the-Sea for some iconic architecture or Monterey to visit their aquarium. Santa Cruz, with its funky boardwalk, is worth a stop, as is scenic Big Sur for some nature views. This highway will take you all the way to San Francisco. To make the most of the trip, consider setting aside five days or even a week, since there are so many places worth stopping along the way.