Driven by a "contained optimism," more people are hitting the roads this July 4 weekend -- but it's far from a full-fledged recovery, according to AAA.
In the Valley, where the unemployment rate is higher than statewide, travel plans may be a bit more restrained. Across California, however, almost 20% more people are traveling 50 miles or more this holiday weekend compared with last year, AAA of Northern California says.
The increase in people traveling is a healthy compared to the past two years, which saw declines in July 4 travel. But numbers are still far below the levels of travel during years when the economy was healthy, said AAA of Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris.
"People now are starting to feel a sense of recovering even though we're still very economically challenged," she said. "People are definitely feeling that ... it is OK to travel at this point, even though they're spending less."
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