SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – An estimated 54.3 million people are traveling for this holiday weekend.
With the nice weather expected this weekend and lower gas prices, it’s going to be the busiest travel week since 2005.
Lupe Valtierra and his daughter, Adriana, came into South Bend on a South Shore train from Griffith, Indiana.
“It was a really full train,” said Adriana. “We couldn’t find any seats together, they were only single seats. Every row was taken.”
“I guess that was cool seeing people take public transportation,” she added. “I’m a big fan of that.”
Their train pulled into South Bend International Airport, which was also busy with hundreds of travelers.
“This is projected to be one of the busiest travel seasons on record,” said Timothy O’Donnell, vice president of operations at the airport. “All the airlines, all the staff here at the airport are working together to make sure everything goes as seamless as it possibly can.”
Airport officials say you can make your trip through the airport as smooth as possible by simply being prepared.
Be sure to have shoes and belts off at security and have one carry on per person with no more than three fluid ounces of any liquid.
On the roadways, Indiana State Police will have increased patrols as part of their annual Operation C.A.R.E.
“We’re going to have extra units out for the holiday weekend,” said Master Trooper Brad Kaizer. “We expect a lot of heavy traffic, especially since the weather is going to be really nice this year.”
This year, 54.3 million people are expected to travel and the majority of those travelers are driving.
Holiday travel by air has shown the most growth since last year, increasing by 5.4 percent.
As for the Valtierra’s, they’ll be driving back home.
“It’s going to be busy because it’s going to be Thanksgiving Day and people are going to be traveling,” said Lupe. “We’re going to see traffic both ways I’m sure, but hopefully weather will be good and we’ll have safe travels.”
For others driving home, Master Trooper Kaizer says the state police’s increased patrols will be on the lookout for any impaired or aggressive drivers and will make sure people are wearing seatbelts.
If you see signs of impaired or aggressive driving, you’re asked to report it to police.