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Some 5.9 million Floridians will be traveling home for Christmas this year, according to the latest forecast from AAA

Photo: Pixabay

About 35 percent more Floridians are expected to travel this holiday season compared with 2020. The majority will be driving to their destination.

Some 5.9 million Floridians are expected to travel to see family and friends this holiday season, with about 91 percent opting to go by car. 

AAA’s Mark Jenkins says with nearly 1.2 million more residents on the roads this year, drivers can expect double the delays and wait times in metro areas like Orlando.  

And Jenkins says people planning on renting a car should book their ride early with supply chain shortages possible throughout the US.

“We’ve seen issues with rental car shortages throughout the year, and with a huge surge in demand, it’s possible that we could see shortages again here during the holiday period.”

Jenkins says the best days to hit the road are Christmas Day and New Year’s Day when congestion is expected to be minimal.

Although he says Omicron could have an impact on traffic if cases continue to rise locally.

“This forecast was developed before Omicron was detected, so it’s hard to say just how big of an impact. More than likely it will have more of an impact on international travel than it will on domestic. So it’s more of a wait and see to see how things develop.”

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is expected to hold an update on the variant on Wednesday at the Orlando International Airport.

Officials say traces of Omicron have been detected in wastewater facilities in Orange and Seminole counties.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »