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Experts share holiday travel predictions

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — With coronavirus cases on the rise, many people are likely trying to decide whether or not to travel for the holidays.

Triple AAA anticipates fewer than 50 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving, a five million drop from this time last year.

“We’re expecting people to really take a wait-and-see approach for those who are planning to travel,” Nick Chabarria the spokesperson with AAA Missouri said.

And says those that choose to travel are wanting more flexibility.

“With that, we’re expecting about 90% of travel this season to be done by car, and that gives people a little bit of flexibility even if they need to change their plans the day of,” Chabarria said.

Missouri State Highway Patrol wants drivers to be mindful of this potential increase in roadway traffic.

“That just means take your time in best-case scenarios that’s what we advise most people, make sure you’re buckled up, don’t worry about your phone and obviously don’t drink and drive,” Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Sam Carpenter said.

Traveling by car can also help limit who you’re exposed to.

“We think that people want to see family they want to travel we kind of see that demand but they also want to make sure they’re doing so safely,” Chabarria said.

Springfield-Branson National Airport spokesperson, Kent Boyd, says airline passenger numbers are down about 50%.

“I know a lot of people who have decided to get somewhere by car when in normal times they would decide to fly,” Boyd said.

Boyd says it all boils down to people’s comfort levels.

“Just trying to figure out what’s going on in your destination has become a real challenge for folks which tends to discourage travel of any kind,” Boyd said.

Boyd says some airlines’ advanced registrations for the holidays are higher than they expected.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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