AAA: Expect pre-pandemic level of holiday travelers this season

Local News

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – With Thanksgiving around the corner, travel experts are saying to expect busier holiday traffic close to pre-pandemic levels this year.

“This year I am going to see friends and family at Cape Cod for the holiday and travel out that way,” said Will Cahillane about his big travel plans for Thanksgiving this year. “It’s so good to see everybody and be together with your family and loved ones so we are all really looking forward to it.”

Cahillane will be joining the millions of other travelers on the roads driving to their destination for Thanksgiving. And as the CDC gives the okay for vaccinated people to share the holiday with loved ones, experts say this year may be the busiest travel season since the start of the pandemic.

According to AAA, it is projected that nearly 1.2 million Massachusetts residents will travel for Thanksgiving this year, that’s up by 15 percent from last year which means more people on the roads. Of that number, 1.1 million will travel by car and air travel in the state is predicted to be up by just over 80 percent.

AAA also says to expect airports to be more crowded than usual so you’ll want to plan your holiday travels in advance before heading out on the roads.

“Use your favorite travel app or tools to get the real time traffic on the roadways,” Mary Maguire of AAA Northeast recommends. “We are expecting heavy travel in Massachusetts on that Tuesday and Wednesday. and Wednesday we will se traveling through the day.”

Maguire adds that travelers should be proactive when booking flights, car rentals and hotel accommodations. And as always be mindful of COVID-19 protocols and restrictions of your destination.

Travel experts also say that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving normally sees an increase in drunk driving on the roads, so make sure to buckle up and be cautious when driving for holidays.

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