Holiday travel expected to see increase


For the Miami Valley Today

DAYTON – AAA is projecting that nearly 2.2 million Ohioans will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an increase of more than 13% over last year

As usual, the great majority of those travelers will be driving to their holiday destinations. AAA is projecting that nearly 2 million Ohioans will be hitting the road — the fourth highest number since AAA has been keeping record.

The dramatic bounce back in travel compared to last year is in keeping with the findings of a new AAA poll of Ohio residents. Only 7% feel traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday poses a “significant” risk for COVID. This in contrast to a similar poll last year where more than 34% felt holiday travel posed “significant” risk for COVID.

“Both the Thanksgiving travel projections and the results of AAA’s statewide poll tell the same story. Thanksgiving travelers see COVID in the rear view mirror, and they are looking forward to returning to the pre-pandemic tradition of gathering with family and friends,” said Kara Hitchens, spokesperson for AAA. “Travelers should expect — and plan for — both the roadways and airports to be as busy as ever.”

AAA projects that the number of Ohioans driving to their destinations (1.9 million) will be up almost 8% over last year and nearly 6% below auto travel for Thanksgiving 2019.

Locally, AAA is projecting that about 159,500 people in the Miami Valley area plan to travel for the holiday. That number is nearly a 14% increase over 2020. Again, the majority of people will drive – 16.7%.

AAA is projecting 193,330 Ohioans will take to the skies, a jump of more than 81% over last year, but still down nearly 4% from the number of Ohioans flying over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2019.

A closer look at the Miami Valley area, AAA predicts 14,424 people from the Miami Valley will fly to their destinations – up nearly 83% over 2020.

AAA is projecting that nearly 42,000 Ohioans will travel by bus, train or some other mode of transportation over the holiday weekend, a jump of almost 263% over last year when travel in a group setting was by far as low as it has been since AAA has been keeping record. But, the 2021 numbers are still 29% below 2019.

AAA defines the Thanksgiving holiday as the five-day period from Wednesday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 28.

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