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Holiday Travel To Be Record-Breaking

COLUMBIA COUNTY -- Interstates in northeastern and central Pennsylvania are busy with what experts are calling record-breaking holiday travel.

According to AAA, more than 103 million Americans are traveling this holiday season. That's the highest number ever recorded.

Some folks have already started their trips, hoping to beat the holiday rush and any chance of wintry weather.

"Usually we don't start until around 6:00, but my wife got home early today so we left as soon as we could,” said Tom Vanemburg of New Jersey.

"We are heading toward Williamsport, hopefully beat the snow also,” said Gina Vanemburg.

Most of those traveling are driving, with more than 93 million people hitting the highways.

"I mean it's a lot easier for us to fly from Maine than drive, but I just decided, let's just do it the old-fashioned way. It's nice and safe and slow," said John Herbert of Maine who stopped at a rest stop in Columbia County on his way to Ohio.

Pennsylvania State Police are warning drivers there will be more patrols, targeting speeders, aggressive drivers, and drunk drivers.

Pennsylvania Turnpike officials are bracing for more than 4.5 million drivers over the holidays, and except for emergencies, maintenance and construction work will stop.

AAA officials say the reasons for this year's record-breaking numbers include rising incomes and relatively low gas prices.

"I mean, if it was a question of traveling or paying my rent, I’d probably have to stay home, but I do think because of the gas prices going down, certainly more travel this year,” said Nancy Herbert of Maine.

Some folks are certainly traveling more than others.

"I'm an auditor and I was in Mexico last week, Guadalajara, and this week I was in Maryland auditing, and from Maryland, I'm driving over to Buffalo to see my girlfriend for Christmas, and then my mom in Detroit, and then back to Atlanta, and then back to Guadalajara the first of the year,” said one man.

But everyone Newswatch 16 spoke with seemed happy to get to their holiday destinations, wherever they may be.

"It's fine. You know, we do this once a year, not a big deal. I like car trips,” said Rebecca Watson of Massachusetts, who is traveling with her husband to Wisconsin.