Holiday Travel

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

December 21, 2005

More than a million Virginians will do some type of traveling this Holiday weekend, making roadways and skyways here in the Commonwealth very busy. Potentially, this weekend could see record numbers in Holiday travel.

AAA is estimating nearly 1.8 million people in Virginia will be doing some type of traveling, be it by air or car.

"It's been easy to check in, it has been very pleasant," said air traveler Eric Deutsch.

That's what holiday travelers were saying at the airport Wednesday, but officials say starting Thursday it could be a different story.

"We're expecting our travel to pick up and numbers to pick up starting numbers of this week," said Terrie Dean, the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport Spokesperson.

Airport officials say there are some things air travelers can do before leaving home that will make their experience less stressful.

"Please do not wrap your Christmas presents ahead of time because if you do and there's something that looks suspicious or can't be figured out on the monitors, you may be asked to unwrap that item, if you are packing anything make sure you put it in your checked luggage as oppose to something you carry on the plane," said Dean.

AAA estimates more than 250,000 Virginians will be hitting the skies this holiday weekend, but the majority of travelers will be hitting the roads. Nearly two million Virginians are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home.

"We can expect to see some pretty significant traffic over the Christmas and New Year holiday weekend," said VDOT Spokesperson Lou Hatter.

It is expected that most will travel by car, which is why VDOT will shut down some of their construction zones over the weekend. Here are some pointers for drivers before they hit the road

"If you're traveling at night time or in the early morning hours, be aware of the possibility of freezing conditions due to moisture on the roadways, that's always a concern and just because of the additional traffic we just advise people to allow plenty of time for their travel and to be patient," said Hatter.

For the most part VDOT will shut down construction zones over the holiday weekend, but that will not include certain projects on I-64 in Henrico County and Hampton Roads, I-81 in Allegheny County, I-77 in Wythe County and US 29 in Amherst County.

As a reminder, travelers can dial 511 from any telephone in Virginia for updated traffic information.

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