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150,000 Delawareans expected to travel for Thanksgiving holiday

Delaware Public Media

More Delawareans are expected to travel this week for the Thanksgiving holiday than in recent years.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says travel is rebounding from the COVID pandemic.

And AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Jana Tidwell says thousands of Delawareans are expected to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

“The uptick will bring us just shy of pre-pandemic travel levels," she said. "Locally that means here in Delaware - just shy of 150,000 Delawareans will travel. That’s a very slight increase year-over-year - just over 1%. 91% of those traveling will go by car.”

Tidwell says if you break down the numbers over 136,000 First State residents will travel by car, despite paying the highest Thanksgiving holiday prices for gasoline per gallon on record.

“AAA is projecting that - no surprise - that this Wednesday will be the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday period - which we identify beginning this Wednesday through this coming Sunday," she said. "AAA is urging those who are traveling by car - and again that’s over 90% of Delawareans - to consider traveling during off-peak hours.”

Tidwell says leaving early in the morning or late in the afternoon can help people avoid longer delays and that helps save money at the pump. She notes motorists are paying the highest gas prices for the Thanksgiving holiday on record.

She says the national gas price is sitting at $3.66, 22-cents higher than this time last year and Delaware’s average gas price is at $3.64.

While most Delawareans will drive to their destination starting on Wednesday, 7% will fly and 2% will travel by other modes.

Tidwell adds AAA estimates it will have to rescue more than 1,200 members over the long holiday weekend - and more than a third of those calls will require the vehicle to be towed.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.