NEWARK, Del. - Thanksgiving travel in the Northeast and across the country is underway and it’s only going to get worse as Thursday gets closer. AAA is predicting near pre-pandemic travel volume for the holiday weekend.
There is tons of heavy metal moving down I-95, a lot of it driven by folks like Peter. He missed the turn to Lewes, Delaware, on his way from Ontario. He says it’s been too long since he has been able to visit with friends. Drivers from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine were saying the same thing. Two years is too long for no friends, family or football. Thanksgiving is back and not a moment too soon.
"My niece has been trying to get me to come down here for the last five years, so it’s worth it. I’m retiring in December, so she’s going to have a retirement party and Thanksgiving day. It’s going to be good," one traveler stated.
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And, as people are passing through, Jane Tidwell, from AAA, says 630,000 Philly area folks will travel this season, 90 percent by car. That’s a 14 percent increase over last year, she says. Everyone knows gas prices are high, but no matter.
"So people are willing to spend the extra money to travel and make sacrifices in other areas, whether it be staying with family and friends in lieu of a hotel, dinning out at less expensive restaurants and cutting out other forms of discretionary spending," Tidwell remarked.
Other factors are working, too, from Virginia and Maryland to DC. With some students out of school, the opportunity to beat the rush presented itself.
"That half-day worked well for us. People took advantage of that. The school system has learned, over time. People are going to take off anyway," a different traveler commented.