(WTAJ) — The American Automobile Association (AAA) says they expect roadways and airports to be more crowded this year as they predict 53.4 million people will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The influx of travel is expected to be up 13% from 2020, nearing pre-pandemic levels, according to the not-for-profit organization. While air travel is predicted to increase by 80% over last year, 90% of people plan to travel by car as their preferred mode of transportation despite rising gasoline prices.

“This Thanksgiving, people are ready to get back to traveling,” AAA East Central Senior Vice President Bevi Powell said. “With restrictions being lifted and travel more accessible than in 2020, making new holiday memories with family and friends is once again a priority for Americans.”

The Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S., including New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, is expected to draw the below number of travelers between Wednesday, Nov. 24 to Sunday, Nov. 28.

Method of TravelTotal Travelers% Change from 2020
Automobile5.79 million8.7%
Air Travel570,00080.7%
Other (bus, train, ship, etc.)112,000254.0%
Region Total:6.48 million14.1%

AAA is advising motorists to ensure their vehicles are prepared for road trips and to plan ahead by traveling early. This includes traveling when there’s less traffic on the roadways and taking vehicles to a trusted repair facility for any needed maintenance before hitting the road.

Travelers are also encouraged to be aware of remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions throughout the U.S. based on your vaccination status and where you are traveling from and to. A map of COVID-19 travel restrictions and resources for closures, recommendations and requirements can be found on TripTik.AAA.com.

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