Students Hit the Road for Thanksgiving Holiday

Montgomery Co., VA - AAA expecting more than 1.2 million Virginians to hit the road this Thanksgiving season, which begins Wednesday.

If you live anywhere near a college, you know holiday traffic really began Friday as colleges and universities across the area end classes for the break.

With another five days to go before the official start of the holiday travel season, I-81 was already jam packed with holiday travelers as colleges and universities across the country said good bye to students heading home for the Thanksgiving break.

Thousands of Virginia Tech students were leaving Friday - most heading home for Thanksgiving

"It looks like move in day all over again but backwards," said Keya Dunford, a first-year student.

Dunford and her friend Mara Jones can't get off campus fast enough. It's their first real holiday break as college students.

But while getting off campus quickly is a goal for both ladies, they have different ideas of how to approach what is likely waiting for them as they head home toward Wytheville.

"I usually pay a little more attention... just to be safe," said Dunford.

"I just try to get home. Honestly. It gets hectic a little bit with all these kids trying to get home. Pretty much every one of them take 81," said Jones.

One Hokie parent came south on 81 from Caroline County to pick her daughter up.

"We're always excited to pick her up and can't wait to get her home," she said.

There will be extra police enforcement the entire way, which has been promised through Thanksgiving weekend.

There was some serious congestion Friday afternoon on 81 North between Christiansburg and Roanoke. The longest stretch of congestion- more than 11 miles long - began when two vehicles involved in a minor fender bender didn't move to the side of the road.