Hit the road, Jack: Thanksgiving travel expected to jump


90% will drive, but air travel is up 80% year-to-year

Travelers at PDX during the Thanksgiving weekend, November 29, 2020 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It looks like a lot of people are going to Aunt Madge’s house for Thanksgiving.

AAA said the expected travel for the Thanksgiving holiday is inching toward pre-pandemic levels, with an estimated 53.4 million people hitting the road in one way or another. That would be an increase of 13% over 2020 and is within 5% of the 2019 level.

The vast majority of people will drive — about 90%, AAA said — but air travel is up 80% year-to-year. That means the airports and roads are going to be very busy beginning November 24.

“Travelers should plan for roads and airports to be noticeably more crowded than what we experienced during the pandemic. Pack your patience and expect delays,” said AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds.

“The travel industry is impacted by the same staffing challenges as other industries, as well as limited flight capacity,” said AAA’s Doreen Loofburrow. “Still, it’s possible to have a fun and unforgettable trip.”

If you’re traveling, the CDC said the best way to minimize the risk of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

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