DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – According to AAA, Thanksgiving could see more than 53 million Americans traveling this holiday season.

At the Dayton International Airport, workers are expecting to see significant increases due to more people getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and getting their booster shots. Dayton International Airport Air Services Manager Linda Hughes told 2 NEWS the airport is expecting to see close to 12,000 people this Wednesday through next Monday, which is a 50% increase from last year.

Dayton resident Darah Yuhas flew out of the Dayton International Airport this year to visit her family in Florida for Thanksgiving. “Leaving a little bit early to see some friends from home too. Flights are a little bit cheaper on a Tuesday versus a Wednesday,” said Yuhas.

Yuhas says last Thanksgiving she was unable to see family due to the pandemic, which makes this year extra special. “It’s gonna be wonderful. We’re all vaccinated, really excited to spend time with my family. I worked last Thanksgiving, so really excited to be home,” Yuhas.

Public Health Supervisor for Dayton and Montgomery County Dan Suffoletto says if you’re sick, you shouldn’t travel. “As we get this time of year, we have the flu, we have potentially COVID. All those three conditions can have similar types of symptoms, and it can be difficult to determine what you actually have.”

From California, Sandy Stirling was in Dayton visiting her parents. Now, Stirling leaving from the Dayton International Airport to visit her children in Alabama for Thanksgiving. “I love it. It’s vital to be around the family. I need it so it’s very nice.”

Also in Dayton to visit family, Hilton Smith from Florida says he’s grateful to visit those he lives. “We have a new granddaughter as well, so it’s just good to be around family.”

Hughes wants to also remind travelers that they must keep their masks on while traveling in airports and on planes, and encourages travelers to try to arrive at least 90 minutes before their plane departs.