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Holiday travel expected to meet pre-pandemic levels in NC

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AAA says while that national figure remains slightly below pre-pandemic levels, travel in North Carolina is forecast to be the busiest in three years, since 2019.

Officials with AAA expect 1.5 million North Carolinians to travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The travel forecast numbers are coming pretty close to pre-pandemic levels, according to AAA spokesperson Tiffany Wright, adding people should expect heavier than normal congestion through Wednesday evening.

"So if your travel plans allow you to leave before 11 a.m. or either after 8 p.m., that's when you're probably going to see the least amount of volume," Wright said.

The best time to travel is on Thanksgiving Day and the best day to return home would be Saturday morning before 11 a.m., Wright said.

AAA estimates 12,000 more people traveling 50-miles or more in the state than last year.

Meanwhile, officials at Raleigh-Durham International Airport say they believe Sunday could break the 2019 single-day record, with over 59,000 passengers flying through the airport that day. Nearly 333,000 passengers are expected to fly through RDU for the Thanksgiving week.

Sharryse Piggott is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow.
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