By Lauren Wanko
Anne Cavaluzzi, a New Jersey driver is bracing for a busy travel day.
“That’s why I’m filling up now, because I know there are going to be long lines later on today,” she said.
She’s one of more than 1.2 million New Jerseyans traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. AAA projects these residents will journey 50 miles or more from home today through Sunday.
AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson, Tracy Noble said, “It’s up 4.3 percent compared to those that traveled for Thanksgiving in 2015 and the most travelers since 2007, so we expect this holiday season to be very busy.”
“Well there is increased consumer confidence, the economy has bounced back a little and people are ready to travel. We’ve seen increased travel for all the major holidays of 2016 and Thanksgiving is no different,” she said.
Busy roadways won’t stop these motorist from traveling to their families.
Kathleen Eckler said, “I’m going down to my daughter’s to spend Thanksgiving with them.”
Cavaluzzi said, “It’s just such a great occasion. We look forward to it, we’re not bothered by the traffic.”
Others don’t want to get behind the wheel.
“It’s very nice with young children not having to travel,” said Kimberly Worth.
“Who wants to take a far ride on the holidays?” asked Frank Digironimo.
Many of those who are driving today are filling up at the pump. AAA Mid-Atlantic says nationally drivers are spending an average of 6 cents more per gallon for regular compared to last year. But here in New Jersey today’s average is $2.21 a gallon, that’s up 25 cents from a year ago.
“In New Jersey things have crept up because we recently did just have the increase in the gas tax, but if you look at where prices were this time last year the only difference we are paying is that gas tax,” said Noble.
“Well, I’m not happy about it but we have to do it, so what are we going to do,” said Eckler.
Since 89 percent of New Jersey travelers are going by car this year less are using other modes of transportation like trains and buses, says Noble. NJ Transit is offering additional trains and buses over the holiday weekend. As for air travel, more than 102,000 New Jersey residents are flying, up slightly from 2015. Whether you’re traveling near or far, may it be a safe journey.