If you are planning to travel for Thanksgiving, you won’t be alone.
AAA is predicting that 2.2 million Ohioans will be traveling this year on the roads, which will represent the single-highest increase in one year and air travel is also expected to be busy too.
Sarah McQuaide, a spokeswoman for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, said John Glenn Columbus International Airport and Rickenbacker International Airport are prepared for a swell of travelers over the next two months.
“Our early projections are showing it’s going to be the busiest time since the pandemic,” she said, noting there were 8.9 million visitors to John Glenn and Rickenbacker combined in 2019.
Here are things to expect during this week’s upcoming busy travel season.
Expect busy roads and possible road delays
Drivers should expect congested roadways and plan for more time to reach their destination, especially in the afternoon and evenings Wednesday and Sunday.
The Ohio Department of Transportation will suspend roadwork and open as many lanes as possible during those days. However, drivers should plan for delays in these work zones:
I-75 in Toledo, Dayton and Cincinnati.
I-70 in Springfield and Zanesville.
I-70/71 in downtown Columbus.
I-76 and I-77 in Akron.
Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday reporting period, there were 11 fatal crashes that killed 11 people on Ohio’s roadways, according to a news release. Five of those fatalities were the result of impaired driving and four were unbuckled when a seatbelt was available.
Where can find cheaper gas prices?
Gasbuddy has a reporting system where you can find updated gas prices per zip code and city in Ohio as well as around the country.
Tips for air travel during Thanksgiving
* Plan ahead: Masks are required in the airport, on shuttle buses and on all aircraft. If you forget to bring a mask, free ones will be available at John Glenn and Rickenbacker.
* If you’re vaccinated you can: travel safely in the U.S. without being tested.
* If you’re unvaccinated you should: get tested one to three days before domestic travel and again three to five days after travel and self-quarantine for seven days after travel or 10 days if you don’t get tested post-trip.
* If you’ve agreed to contribute to a family meal, please search the TSA’s “What can I bring?” site to determine whether you should carry-on or check your bag.
* Some restaurants and shops have adjusted hours due to a labor shortage. You can see what’s open here.
How early should I arrive? McQuaide’s general rule of thumb for domestic and international flights is two hours before scheduled departure.
Where can you get free COVID-19 testing?
Keep emergency products in your vehicle during travel
Although this week’s weather isn’t expected to be severe, experts are advising motorists to be safe, not sorry.
According to Reviewed, here are 10 emergency products you should always keep in your car—especially during a busy season of travel.
A first aid kit in case of injury, this combination jump starter and power pack for road emergencies, thermal blankets to stay warm in freezing temperatures, mittens, hats, socks and other winter gear, a combination ice scraper and snow brush, a compact snow shovel for heavier snowfall emergencies, a full water bottle to stay hydrated, nonperishable snacks to keep in the car, a car charger to keep your devices charged up, a traction aid like cat litter.
During this year’s holiday travel period, AAA said it expects to respond to more than 400,000 roadside assistance calls.
Information from the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer was used in compiling this article.