Holiday travel numbers are at pre-pandemic levels

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 4:09 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Travelers are hitting the road and taking flight to be with their families for the holiday, and this year’s rush is more than what has been seen since a few years ago.

Triple A is estimating close to a million cars will be on the road in the Badger State.

“Here is Wisconsin we are expecting about 950,000 automobiles that will travel over 50 miles from home,” said Nick Jarmusz with AAA. “Certainly going to be a lot of folks out there on the interstates and state highways.”

Jarmusz said AAA expects more crashes on holiday weekends with more cars on the road, but stresses some drivers shouldn’t be behind the wheel to begin with.

“Impaired driving is one of the biggest factors in crashes during the Thanksgiving weekend,” said Jarmusz. “No one wants to see their holiday weekend ruined by a crash or tragedy.”

If flying is your method of getting to the dinner table, Groome Transportation has a shuttle that can take you to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“We offer affordable service to get your from and to the airport in Minneapolis. We do offer onsite parking here for free for 14 days,” said Trace Cockeram, the assistant manager with the airport shuttle service.

When you get to the airport, Jeff Lea with MSP says make sure you have given yourself enough time for the TSA checkpoint.

“We had a projection of over 36,000 people going through our checkpoints at the airport a day.”

The weekend after the big feast will also likely be a busy one.

“The Wednesday before is likely going to be the busiest day but the Sunday that follows on the 27th is going to be the second busiest day or surpass depending on how things go,” said Lea.

“Next weekend we don’t have those numbers yet but it looks like its going to be another pretty busy weekend for us,” said Cockeram.

Whether it is the rush to the dinner table or the rush back to regular day to day life via the sky, Lea offers this advice.

“You not only have to prepare for what’s here but the connecting that you may be going through... again always best to keep in contact with the airline for the latest information,” said Lea.

Over the weekend, the roads will also be busy with people coming back from Thanksgiving break.

AAA suggests not traveling between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. as the roads will have the highest volume of cars in that time window each day over the weekend.