Low gas prices and airfare boost holiday travel

Savings on the road and in the sky are boosting travel numbers in major way.

With five grown children living throughout country, Stephen and Jeanette Terpstra have a tough time getting their kids to La Crosse for Christmas. So this year they’re making a change.

“We’re going to see our son and his family this year,” Jeanette Terpstra, said. “We’re off to Norfolk, Virginia.”

They said a reasonable air fare is what sealed the deal.

“This year we got a decent price for La Crosse, usually the better price is in the Twin Cities and so this year it worked out,” Jeanette Terpstra said.

The Terpstra’s aren’t alone.

“We’re actually up this year so we’re seeing more travelers come through the airport,” Clinton Torp the La Crosse Regional Airport manager.

AAA reports airfare wars have led to a 7 percent drop in ticket costs, but more travelers doesn’t necessarily mean more congestion at the airport.

“I think over the last week we’ve noticed that the loads are spread out throughout the days. There is not any particular day that looks like an enormous travel day,” State Trooper Ryan Smith said.

The La Crosse Regional Airport averages about 250 holiday travelers a day.

If you’re planning to travel by land thanks to lower pump prices state troopers said plan accordingly to avoid heavy traffic

“Usually those peak times are going to be in the middle of the day so maybe plan your trip earlier in the morning,” Ryan said.

As people race to get to their holiday destinations, troopers said speed is one of the biggest problems, especially on the interstate. They suggest driving on less-traveled roads.

If you’re traveling on the roads this winter you can dial 511 to get up to date information on conditions and closures.