DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Thanksgiving travel is expected to rebound to almost pre-pandemic levels, AAA predicts.

The agency is expecting more than 53.4 million people to travel this holiday, which is the highest single-year increase since 2005. Molly Hart, spokesperson for AAA, said people should prepare for roads and airports to be more crowded.

"Nationally 53 million people are going to be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday," Hart said. 

AAA issued a forecast saying more than 4 million people will travel by plane. Air travel is expected to almost completely recover from its dramatic fall during the pandemic.

Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport said it's seen a major increase in travel from 2020.

"We expect more with the holidays because people can actually get together with their families this year," said Dianne Hardwick, airport authority board.

AAA predicts 48.3 million people will travel by car. 

Sergeant Scott Flannery with the Macon County Sheriff's Office reminds drivers to pay attention and be prepared if they are planning on traveling long distances.

"Give yourself time to get where you are going. Don't be in a rush, don't be in a hurry. Just slow down and be safe," he said. 

The number of travelers is higher than last year. AAA reported 6.4 million more people will be traveling this holiday.

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