Millions return home after a busy holiday travel weekend

According to AAA, more than 1.4 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday.

ALAMONS COUNTY, NC – Leftovers disappearing from the fridge are a reminder that the holiday weekend is coming to an end.

And a busy travel weekend too.

If you’ve been on any of the highways across the Triangle today, there’s no mistaking the rush to get home.

“We’ve been in traffic all day,” Ricky Pennington said.

“We had some heavy traffic,” Lance Perkins said.

“The traffic is really heavy and once we get to 85 it gets really bad,” said Nancy McCoy.

From highways to back roads…

Many people returning home from the Thanksgiving holiday stop and go.

Ricky Pennington is from Lexington and spent the weekend in Myrtle Beach before visiting his grandchildren in Greenville this morning.

“There’s about 40 in Raleigh, wrecks on both sides of the road, backed up for three or 4 miles,” Pennington said. “You sit in traffic and you move a little bit, you sit in traffic and you move a little bit. It’s been like that since we got out 40.”

If you’re stuck in traffic today, you’re not alone.

AAA of Carolina estimates that more than 1.4 million North Carolinians traveled by car this weekend.

Experts also say that the pre-Thanksgiving trip is usually spread over several days.

However, for many, the journey home is Sunday.

Packing three days worth of travel into one.

“We took 77 to 81 before Thanksgiving on Wednesday, and it wasn’t that heavy. It was pretty rough, but it wasn’t bad,” McCoy said.

Nationwide, Thanksgiving travel was expected to be higher than last year, but pre-pandemic holiday travel numbers are forecast to be even lower.

“We make this trip once a year for Thanksgiving, and it’s pretty common to see it every time,” Perkins said.

People we spoke to say that spending time with family is worth it, despite the heavy traffic.

Leaving some people already looking forward to Christmas.

“Right, resting up for the Christmas trip,” McCoy said.

It cost drivers more this year than last year to get to and from your Thanksgiving destination.

AAA expects North Carolinians to pay about 10 cents more per gallon in 2021 than Thanksgiving.

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