MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - AAA reports a boost in travel, signaling "a little bit of normalcy returning to the travel industry."
In fact, the travel agency said March 2021 marked its highest level of online bookings in two years.
In the Monterey area, KTVU met people visiting the region from all over the United States.
"It's time to get back to normal. I'm tired of COVID!" said Faylene Fenner from Oklahoma.
Nathan Schmidt from Boston said he had received the first of two COVID shots and had never been to Monterey before.
"I'm pretty excited to get back to exploring and seeing places and this is something I've never seen before," said Schmidt.
Spring Break 2021 looks a lot different than 2020 with crowds, of now masked travelers, returning.
AAA reports one year into the pandemic a growing confidence as more people get the COVID-19 vaccine, saying that's contributing to a noticeable increase in travel.
"For example, overall online bookings have grown 86% over March of 2020," said AAA Northern California spokesman Aldo Vazquez. But he adds levels remain far below normal.
"They are down 40% compared to March 2019, so we're still not back to the levels we were seeing," said Vazquez.
Some tourists tried to explain how good it felt to be traveling again after being limited for a year.
"We've been stuck inside the house. Just to get out and connect with people...it's an amazing feeling," said Jenny Macula from Las Vegas.
AAA expects road trips will be the most preferred method of travel this spring break and while outdoors-based vacations are still popular, Vazquez said larger cities are making a bit of a comeback.
"We are seeing those larger more populous cities which lost a lot of their popularity during the pandemic start to gain their traction again, so Los Angeles, San Diego, those are starting to grow again," said Vazquez.
He also notes travel agents report people booking more expensive trips and also booking multiple outings, some planning vacations through 2023.
A Yosemite park ranger is also warning visitors to expect crowds, especially on the weekends and around the popular spots.
She suggests people arrive before 9 a.m. to get a parking spot and points out Yosemite's shuttle service will remain shut down this year because of COVID.