95 percent of Thanksgiving travelers are driving this year, AAA says
ORLANDO, Fla. - AAA predicted more people would hit the road for Thanksgiving travel this year as fewer fly.
Driver after driver heading south on the Florida Turnpike told FOX 35 they were stuck in the same bubble of traffic.
"It took us like an hour-and-a-half to get 30 miles outside of Gainesville actually," one driver said.
Another said, "It was a lot of traffic when we first got on the road."
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"Horrible. It’s a bubble right above Orlando, Ocala area and it was horrible. Stay home. If I didn’t have the kid in college, I wouldn’t go," a third driver added.
It must be the holidays. Thanksgiving is always busy on the roads but this year, AAA says it will be one of the busiest Thanksgivings for drivers. With 44 percent fewer Floridians flying for the holiday because of the pandemic, AAA says 95 percent of travelers will be driving.
"The pandemic, I’m sure everybody’s itchy. So it’s really showing on the roadways," said Daphne Mathews, who lives in Vero Beach.
Still, AAA expects travel to be down 10 percent overall.
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Driving in Kissimmee (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)
“In addition to healthcare, another factor people are looking at is their employment and discretionary income and if they are not comfortable and don’t feel like they have that extra money in their pocket they are not going to make the trip," said AAA Spokesperson Jeanette McGree.
But most of the people FOX 35 spoke with at the Turkey Lake Service Plaza were driving home from or picking up their kids from college, which is a family reunion not even a pandemic or economic downturn could stop.
"It’s definitely been a while. It’s been a hot second. But it’s definitely nice to be with them again," said Lannie Rubio, who lives in Miami.
AAA expected Wednesday afternoon to be the busiest time on the roads this weekend with 30 percent more congestion than what it's been during the pandemic.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.