DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– Sunday marked one of the busiest travelling days as families return home after the Thanksgiving weekend. Nearly a dozen families spoke with 2 News and said this year was quite different from 2020. With COVID-19 vaccines out in communities, it gives many a sense of safety traveling out-of-state to see others they have not seen in two years.

“Everyone was just so much happier being together and feeling safer,” said Dayton Resident, Abby Schmidt.

25-year-old Abby Schmidt traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to see her boyfriend’s family. She said COVID-19 vaccines gave everyone a sense of safety to get together after years apart. 

“In his family, they have immunocompromised individuals. One of his older sisters has Crohn’s disease so we all definitely had to get vaccinated for them. She was so happy to have everyone over and we had a great time,” said Schmidt.

Other travelers said gatherings were mixed, some were vaccinated and others were not; however, they wanted to power down their virtual meetings and finally hug family and friends.

“It was nice to actually see family instead of Zooming with them and it was really refreshing to see all my friends without concerns,” said UD Student, Neena Katauskas.

New normal routes may be established for other travelers. One flyer said her family requested her to get tested, just to have peace of mind on top of vaccines.

“My Grandma was the most concerned and she knows I’m vaccinated and such, but just wanted to make sure everyone is good and will be fine after this, it would be a damper on our party,” said UD Student, Madeline Dillon.

Before the holidays began, AAA of North Dayton estimated an extra two-million residents traveling this weekend alone.