Tips for traveling back home on Labor Day

Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 4:47 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A three-day weekend means more people than usual are going to be on the roads Monday. Labor Day is also a popular day for folks to fly back home from a weekend getaway.

Drivers should expect a bit of traffic on the highways Monday coming back from their travels. Interstates 581 and 81 tend to get backed up in the early afternoon.

A spokesperson with AAA Mid-Atlantic explained drivers should stay focused on the road while traveling home.

”Food, coffee, drinks, even on-board electronics can all be distractions. As a driver, we encourage you to limit all of those,” Morgan Dean said. “Keep those eyes on the road. Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds more than doubles your risk of a crash.”

Dean also explained because gas prices have gone down in the last two months, more people went out of town over the weekend and will be headed back Monday.

With more people on the highways Monday, it’s important to be extra cautious by driving the speed limit.

Travel experts saw hundreds of delays and cancellations at the airport over the weekend, and more are expected Monday as folks are trying to come home. If you have a flight disruption, experts explained it’s best to try and get ahead of the line.

Roanoke airport is reporting their flights for Monday are nearly 95% booked. The busy travel weekend comes after months of increased leisure travel.

Airlines are jumping back up to pre-pandemic passenger levels, but the number of flights hasn’t increased due to staffing shortages.

ROA’s marketing and communication manager explained if your flight is delayed or canceled, the best thing to do is act fast.

”Definitely download your carriers app and enable the push notifications so if they need to contact you about a flight disruption, they’ll be able to do that,” Brad Boettcher said. “Call times tend to be pretty long, and ticket counter lines can get long if you have a hiccup in the travel.”

Another tip is to interact with the airlines on social media and let them know of the problem. Experts explained it may be faster to ask for help over Twitter or Facebook to try and get home.