Thanksgiving travel predicted to be up 13% from 2020, according to AAA

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — With Thanksgiving just hours away, community members across Hampton Roads are hitting the roads, rails and hopping on planes to be with loved ones.

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“We are expecting this Thanksgiving to be within 5% of how Thanksgiving traffic was pre-pandemic,” said AAA’s Spokesperson Ryan Adcock. “So pretty close to how we were before the pandemic.” 

Here’s what AAA predicts: 53.4 million people will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday up 13% from 2020. Air travel will be up 80% over last year’s number. 

However, not everyone is traveling. Calvin Roberts says he is staying put.

“Gas prices, hotel prices, everything seems to be up 30% even though we had the shots and boosters.  It’s just too costly to travel,” Roberts told 10 On Your Side.

Meanwhile, Tamara’s Cason is staying home, but bringing in the family, 

“I’m going to have a lot of people traveling to me,” she said. “My daughter’s coming from Maryland, but my sister in Texas is not going to be able to come. We are going to be praying she is to be in our presence.” 

When COVID-19 first hit, airport traffic plummeted. It’s now back up 80% over last year. 

10 On Your Side spoke with the Galiotos family at Norfolk International Airport who was on the way to Orlando. Their daughter and Norfolk Academy standout field hockey star, Olivia Galiotos, told us they were going to the U.S. Field Hockey Festival then spending time with family.

Her mother, Jennifer Galiotos, says this is the first time they have traveled as a family, but they’ve been flying since flights resumed.

“I think people have chosen to be vaccinated or they feel comfortable. They either had COVID or aren’t as worried about it anymore,” she said. “I think people are going on with their lives as normal.” 

At Norfolk International, 76 flights departed on Wednesday with an estimated 7,400 passengers, and about the same number of flights brought in about 7,400 people.   

WAVY-TV 10 found a group of young ladies waiting for a friend. Then on time, Haylee Landry showed up, 

“I just came home from college for Thanksgiving. She just came home. She came home. We’re all home together,” Haylee said with a laugh. 

As for Tamara Cason’s son, Namir, well he just wants to eat, 

“We are going to have BIG fun, big Thanksgiving,” he said with outstretched arms and his mother responded,  “And that’s how we’re doing it all 2021.” 

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