Year-end holiday travel volume increases for ninth consecutive year

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(WOLF) -- If you’re traveling this holiday season, get ready for the roads to feel more cramped than normal.

AAA says more than 97 million people will travel by car this year nationally, nearly 115,000 of those travelers from the Wilkes-Barre area.

And many more from further north.

Like Cheryl Schweiger, traveling with her family down Interstate 81 from Poughkeepsie, New York to Milton in Northumberland County.

“It was actually ok. The only problem is when people are getting on the Scranton Expressway and the merge off 84/81 area. That’s kind of tricky,” Schweiger said.

Traffic was a little heavier than usual on Business Route 6 in Dickson City this afternoon, just ahead of the I-81 entrance ramps.

And at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, the parking lot was packed.

AAA says air travel is up 4.1% nationally this year, 3.9% locally.

One frequent flier we spoke to had one simple tip for newbies.

“Make sure you get here early.”

Terry Cavanagh is from Pocono Lake. She was on business in Boston, but decided to drive her rental car to AVP instead of flying into Philadelphia and getting a connecting flight.

She says ultimately it was quicker and less costly.

“There was a lot of traffic on the road. Airports are busy. Airlines triple the price. I had a roundtrip ticket to Boston for $300-something and to fly back yesterday was $1,000 one way, so they take advantage,” Cavanagh said.

AAA says 2017 is the ninth consecutive year of holiday travel growth and travel times during the week can be as much as three times longer than the normal trip.

But it looks like the worst is behind us, the most congestion was expected on Wednesday and Thursday.

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