Traffic from holiday travel returns to pre-pandemic levels

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Last year, Black Friday came nearly eight months into the pandemic.

More people did their shopping online and some stayed home and bought less overall. But this year, with large numbers of people vaccinated, the kickoff to the biggest retail stretch of the year is looking more like it did two years ago.

According to AAA, over 53 million people were expected to travel this holiday season, a 13% increase from last year. This takes us within 5% of travel from pre-pandemic levels. During this time authorities are asking drivers to be cautious while they’re on the road.

Be patient since it’s more likely you’ll be surrounded by erratic drivers and give yourself extra time in order to get to your destination. Experts say the worst time to travel today was between one and four.

Over the weekend you should avoid traveling between 1 and 7 PM. They say the best time to travel is anytime before noon.

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