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Holiday travel expected to increase, travelers already on the road

Posted at 6:57 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 18:57:21-05

AAA is expecting nearly 113 million people to travel for the holiday season over the next two weeks. That's up more than 3 million people from last year, and close to pre-pandemic travel numbers.

The I-10 rest stop right past the Capital Circle exit had multiple visitors Thursday. I spoke with a few of those travelers who say they're looking forward to getting to their destinations safely.

From experienced travelers, "We're on our way to New Orleans," said Andrea Deufur-Dufrene.

To a little less experienced. "On the way from Pompano Beach to Texas," said Ederson Artola-Hernandez

And those just looking to escape the cold weather…"We're headed to Fort Walton Beach," said Vicki Nelson.

There was a wide range of people traveling for the holidays Thursday, Deufur-Dufrene. She stopped in Tallahassee on her way to New Orleans and says the experience for her has been good.

"We haven't really had any issues whatsoever and everything has been great so far," Deufur-Dufrene explained.

Artola-Hernandez is 7-years-old and traveling with his family to Texas. Even though the drive is long, he finds ways to pass the time.

"I'm able to sleep and play my Nintendo switch," Artola-Hernandez said.

Nelson, is traveling from Macon, Georgia to Fort Walton Beach to escape the cold weather. She says the roads are better than expected.

"It wasn't stop and go, stop and go, like it normally is," said Nelson.

And as things get busier, Deufur-Dufrene hopes people stay in the holiday spirit while getting to their destinations.

"I'm sure the traffic gets congested in certain areas but just be mindful of the season and celebrating with family and friends," Deufur-Dufrene said.

If you're wondering what the best times to travel are, AAA says on December 23 it's either before 2 p.m. or after 8 p.m. and on Christmas Eve it's either before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m. Also, out of the nearly 113 million travelers, AAA expects approximately 101 million to get to their destinations by car.