Americans hit the road for one of busiest travel days of the year

Thanksgiving celebrations like no other will soon be underway.

Some people are getting ready to hit the road on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Others heeding the warning from medical experts and are staying home and that’s reflected in recent travel numbers. 

Experts say nearly 50 million people will be heading out this thanksgiving through airplanes and trains, but the majority of travelers will be in their vehicles. 

This will still be the lowest Thanksgiving travel volume in four years.

This is supposed to be one of the busiest travel days of the year, but the pandemic has caused many to stay home.

Amtrak officials say they had more cancellations than bookings this Thanksgiving season 

"Normally our busiest travel day of the year is Thanksgiving eve," Anna said. "It’s not going to be that way this year, normally our biggest single day of the year is the Sunday after Thanksgiving probably not going to be that way this year either.”

Mitchell Airport officials say they are anticipating some holiday travelers but nothing like years past.

"We are expecting a small bump in travel it’s hard to kind of predict what that is going to look like right now we’re treating it like we treated labor-day where we are expecting to see a bump in people," said Stephanie Staudinger, marketing and public relations coordinator at Mitchell International.

AAA is reporting fewer Americans will hit the road this year.

Health concerns and unemployment are contributing factors.

Still, they predict about 50 million people will travel through the holiday.

The CDC is encouraging people stay home as the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Local health officials urge anyone gathering with others outside their household to keep the Thanksgiving gathering small and make sure guests use masks and practice social distancing. 

"What we have seen is gratitude can cause a buffer in stressful situations," said Conor Kelly of Marquette University.

AAA says the decision to travel is personal this year.

Researchers recommend people reflect on what they are most thankful for as a way to cope with yet another tradition disrupted by the pandemic.

"Those are the things that can help us push through and get to the other side of this pandemic," Kelly said.

If you are hitting the road; travel experts say you should read up on the state and local areas where you are heading to make sure you are abiding by their COVID-19 guidelines.