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Many choose to travel rather than 'stay-cation' for Thanksgiving

A crash slowed traffic on Interstate 5 south of the Highway 126 interchange on Friday afternoon. (SBG)

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EUGENE, Ore. - The Thanksgiving rush is almost here, and AAA projects that more than 647,000 Oregonians will be traveling for the holiday.

Of those travelers, 89 percent of them across the country will be driving to their destination for the holiday weekend, and the roads are expected to especially congested in Oregon due to the Civil War game between the Ducks and Beavers, on top of Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping.

If what AAA's projections are correct, this will be the most people on the road for Thanksgiving since 2005. Barbara Nicholas, with AAA, says more families are ditching the "stay-cation" plans and opting to get out of town this year instead.

"Disneyland, Disney World are always very popular this time of year," said Nicholas. "We are seeing an increase in Hawaii as well as Maui and Oahu are two that are pretty big."

A lot of people are choosing to leave the country as well, as 2017 has experienced the largest growth of air travel so far, with consumers buying the cheapest flights since 2013. However, that only accounts for eight percent of the population.

While gas prices have seen a small increase over the past year, that doesn't seem to be detouring many travelers. Angela Beer-Seydel with Oregon Department of Transportation also says that there might be some road crews working through the holiday, but it shouldn't slow you down.

"We may have some work going on I-5 and Beltline, but if they are there if the weather is good, they are going to be doing work on sound walls," said Beer-Seydel. "They won't be in the traffic lanes."

One thing for drivers in Oregon to remember this holiday season, however, is that Oregon's Distracted Driving Law went into effect earlier this year, so be sure to have your playlist and directions ready before hitting the road.

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