Holiday traveling? Here's everything you need to know

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Minimize the travel headaches by learning the best days and times to travel.

RDU is expecting 204,000 people to fly through the airport during the next week for the Thanksgiving holiday. RDU is calling it an all-time record holiday season.

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BUSY TRAVEL BY AIR FOR THANKSGIVING

"We've added extra people to help us run extra shuttles so that we ensure that people can get to the terminal building effectively and easily," said Kristie VanAuken, Vice President of Communications/Community Affairs for RDU Authority. "We've added extra volunteers at our guest services area, extra law enforcement officers just to make sure that we can provide the stress-free travel experience, the relaxing travel experience that customers really hope for and expect when they come to RDU."

Nationally, AAA is expecting the biggest Thanksgiving weekend travel in 12 years.

RDU said peak travel times are this Wednesday between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. and Sunday between 3 p.m. and 7 pm.

Michael Jones is flying to Toronto for work and will be flying back into RDU in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family in the Triangle.

"I'm coming back on Wednesday and I'm scared it's going to be hectic coming in so we'll see," Jones said.

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RDU prepared for holiday rush



But there's some good news for Jones and others traveling through RDU during the Thanksgiving rush - finding a parking spot may be easier.

Work will wrap up at the Park RDU Central deck offering 11,000 parking spots for holiday travelers.

In addition, Starbucks will open at Concourse D, replacing the temporary location nearby.

DRIVING INSTEAD OF FLYING: WHAT TO EXPECT

It is only Monday but people have already been traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

AAA Carolinas said while people who might have the week off took off this past weekend, the busiest day for travel will still be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

"Take your patience along," said Sandra Horton, General Manager of the AAA Carolinas location on Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh.

"If you can wait until Thursday morning I think you'll see less than on Wednesday," said Horton about the expected traffic.

AAA Carolinas said 90 percent of holiday travel takes place on the roads and that 1.3 million North Carolinians are opting to drive to their holiday destinations.

An article from Travel and Leisure echoed what Horton had to say about Wednesday travel. In a list of best and worst travel times from cities, it said the lightest traffic out and back into Raleigh will be Thursday morning and Saturday morning.

After that, Horton said, Sunday is going to be the busiest travel day.

"If there is anything you can do to come home Saturday evening or take off on Monday possibly it's going to be a little less on Monday," said Horton.

SAFETY ON THE ROADS

If you are driving to your Thanksgiving destination keep in mind that the Click It or Ticket campaign will be underway.

The North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program is partnering with state and local law enforcement from now through November 26.

"Our goal with the Click It or Ticket campaign is to save lives - period." said Mark Ezzell, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program. "Thanksgiving should be a happy time, not a tragic one. We hope that this campaign reminds Thanksgiving travelers about the importance of wearing a seat belt."

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said that in 2016, 20 people died in car crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period. Half of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

Outside of the danger of not wearing your seatbelt, if you're caught, you could also face a fine of up to $179.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that people not wearing a seat belt in either the front or back seat of a vehicle are 30 times more likely to be ejected during a crash. Another statistic estimates that in fatal crashes, more than three out of four people who are ejected die from their injuries.

"Year after year, we are devastated by stories of family members who are killed on our roadways on their way to Thanksgiving festivities," Ezzell said. "It is unacceptable that half of all drivers and passengers killed in crashes on Thanksgiving weekend in 2016 were not wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crash. Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways to stay safe in a vehicle."

Safety reminders:
  • Buckle Up. Every Seat. Every Time. It's the law.

  • Don't drink and drive. Make sure you have a sober designated driver.

  • Obey the posted speed limit.

  • Keep a safe following distance.

  • Turn on your headlights in the rain or snow.


"We've added extra people to help us run extra shuttles so that we ensure that people can get to the terminal building effectively and easily," said Kristie VanAuken, Vice President of Communications/Community Affairs for RDU Authority. "We've added extra volunteers at our guest services area, extra law enforcement officers just to make sure that we can provide the stress-free travel experience, the relaxing travel experience that customers really hope for and expect when they come to RDU."

RDU said peak travel times are this Wednesday between 4 and 8 am and Sunday between 3 and 7 pm.

Michael Jones is flying to Toronto for work and will be flying back into RDU in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family in the Triangle.

"I'm coming back on Wednesday and I'm scared it's going to be hectic coming in so we'll see," Jones said.
But there's some good news for Jones and others traveling through RDU during the Thanksgiving rush-finding a parking spot may be easier.

Work will wrap up at the Park RDU Central deck offering 11,000 parking spots for holiday travelers.

In addition, Starbucks will open at Concourse D, replacing the temporary location nearby.

Related Topics:
travelRDUhighwaysthanksgivingholidayRaleighDurham
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