More people expected to travel for Independence Day weekend since pandemic began

More people expected to travel for Independence Day weekend since pandemic began

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -More people are expected to travel for the July 4th weekend since the start of the pandemic.

It’s something U.S. transportation officials say is expected as consumer confidence continues to rise.

Visitors packed downtown Savannah over the weekend – some who made the drive, others who took a flight from out of state.

“We’ve been locked in so we were like ‘we got to do something.‘ We can’t just stay in our house,” said Stanley Otiwu, who visited Savannah this weekend with friend Ameera Daboh.

"Yeah, something for the summer," she said.

It was their first road trip in months.

"It's more open. We're able to just walk," she said, explaining why Savannah appealed to them.

Transportation officials expect more people on the roads this summer since the pandemic began.

“People will venture out longer distance in their own cars within the safety and security of enclosed environment, and as they gain more confidence they will book more longer distance travel, which will necessitate airlines,” said Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, during a recent interview.

Chilah Weller and Ashley Hutchison are used to the travel precautions from the airlines. They travel a lot.

"We travel quite a bit for work and for pleasure," Weller said. "So we are kind of used to it."

They made the trip for pleasure from Michigan to Savannah.

“We wore the masks and everything,” Weller said. “There was hand sanitizer everywhere. I think everyone was well prepared.”

Prepared is how Seth and Charlotte Sheldon felt.

"That's why I have a mask," she said, holding up a cloth covering.

The couple used to live in Savannah, and it was their first time back since the pandemic. They traveled from the U.S. Virgin Islands, which has more public restrictions in place, they said.

Already, their thoughts are about the next planned trip.

“We’ve got a vacation coming up with our families coming up in the next couple weeks,” Seth said. “We have some older family members so that would be the main concern. We just try to be careful right now so we don’t put them at risk.”

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