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Delawareans expected to return to Thanksgiving holiday travel this year

Thanksgiving Travel
Delaware Public Media

Thousands of people are expected to take to the roads, skies and rails for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Even though COVID case numbers are rising in many states, including Delaware, AAA Mid-Atlantic still predicts people will take holiday trips.

AAA is predicting those numbers to rise again as far as travelers go - people traveling 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday," said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Ken Grant. "Obviously that number took a significant dive last year in the middle of the pandemic. This year we are looking at 145,000 Delawareans traveling over this Thanksgiving weekend.” 

Grant notes that number is up more than 12% over last year, but down nearly 4% from 2019 - which saw the second highest statewide travel volume for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Grant says despite the highest gas prices since 2013, nearly 54% of First State motorists answering a AAA survey said those prices played no role in their decision to travel this week.

Another 9,700 Delawareans are expected to travel by plane for the holiday, and 2,000 will travel by bus or train.

“Once again the majority of those people will be driving," Grant said. "However, those flying - that number has increased. We’re looking at just under 10,000 people flying out of Delaware and heading to their destinations; that’s a 78% increase over last year. Of course last year flights were down to almost nothing by Thanksgiving. But this year that’s making a major bounce back.”

Grant says people should plan ahead and plan accordingly and “pack your patience.”

He adds that anyone flying should be prepared for COVID screenings and perhaps a double-check of vaccination status or a negative COVID test in addition to the normal TSA screenings.

Grant notes AAA also found only 6% of the people surveyed say holiday travel poses a significant risk for contracting COVID-19. That’s down from more than 39% last year.