PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Millions of travelers are expected to hit the road and skies over the Thanksgiving holiday week, with AAA projecting travel to reach near pre-pandemic levels.
More than 53-million Americans are expected to travel for the holiday, according to AAA, with a predicted 80% increase in air travel.
Erica Guinaraes is on her way to Brazil to see her family for the first time since before the pandemic began in January 2020.
“We just took a COVID test and we are keeping masks on and washing our hands as much as we can,” she said.
The R.I. Department of Health is offering free COVID tests by the baggage area at Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport. Federal rules also require that you wear a mask in the airport and on the plane.
Rhode Island Airport Cooperation’s John Goodman told 12 News T.F. Green is offering free kits with face masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning wipes. He also has advice for those flying.
“Probably looking at twice as busy as last year but not as busy before the pandemic. So two hours before your planned departure is still probably fine for you to arrive,” he said.
AAA is also warning Rhode Island drivers that since they fall within traffic patterns between Boston and New York to plan accordingly as they can expect heavy congestion in those areas during rush hour.
Planning accordingly is just what South Carolina resident Lynn Habbestead and her family did.
“It’s chaos, our families chaos, but that’s what we look forward to,” Habbestead said.
Habbestead’s son is in the military and she says she can’t remember the last time the whole family was able to spend the holidays together.
“Jen, how long has it been since we’ve been together as a family,” she said. “Several, several, years.”
While the holiday travel rush has already started, Goodman says the busiest days of travel at T.F. Green are expected to be on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as the Sunday after the holiday.