thanksgiving travel

New Englanders Make Their Way Back From Holiday Destinations

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Connecticut interstates and highways were bustling with cars on Sunday.

About 53.4 million people were expected to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA. That total is the highest single-year travel increase since 2005.

Connecticut interstates and highways were bustling with cars on Sunday.

According to Connecticut's AAA, more than 2.5 million New Englanders were expected to travel during the thanksgiving holiday with 87% of those travelers expected to drive to their destinations.

"Fourteen and a half hours, it's like 840 miles," said Melissa Reynolds, who lives in Waterville, Maine, and was traveling back from North Carolina. "Traffic's been pretty good, it's going pretty smooth. We've had a couple of interruptions as far as traffic being backed up."

NBC Connecticut is breaking down your rights as a passenger if you run into any issues traveling over the holiday season.

Jennifer Baker and her husband Johnathon Henson live in New Hampshire and were traveling back from Mississippi.

"It's like 23 hours and very congested during the night," said Henson. "It's a very long drive, usually, I'm prepared to take a break after about 10 hours," said Baker.

The dramatic bounce back in travel compared to last year is consistent with the findings of a new AAA poll of Connecticut residents. Only 8% feel traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday poses a "significant" risk for COVID. This is in contrast to a similar poll last year where more than 40% 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 Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “Travelers should expect - and plan for – both the roadways and airports to be as busy as ever."

AAA projected that 285,000 New Englanders would take to the skies, a jump of more than 82% over last year, but still down just over 2% from the number of New Englanders who flew over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2019.