AAA: More than 1.4 million Virginians expected to travel this holiday weekend

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 11:10 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The roads will be more packed this year since the start of the pandemic, with more than 1.4 million Virginians traveling this holiday weekend.

AAA expects this Thanksgiving travel weekend to be the third busiest since they started tracking in 22 years.

“This year’s been much more of an open book. We saw the cruise industry come back. We saw a lot of countries that have been closed for two years reopen their borders and invite tourists back in,” Morgan Dean with AAA said.

Dean said if you’re leaving on Wednesday or Thursday, try and leave before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. to avoid the most traffic.

He also said Sunday would be the busiest day of travel for the holiday weekend.

Traffic is not the only trouble Virginians are concerned about, as gas prices are up nearly 20 cents from last year.

Some stations like Sheetz are offering more affordable fueling options this Thanksgiving.

“I came out to get the cheap gas,” Manny Rivera said, who was filling up at the Sheetz outside of Richmond International Airport.

Until next Monday, select Sheetz locations around the country offer unleaded 88 at $1.99 a gallon.

You should check your owner’s manual before filling up to see if your car can handle it, but the low price is making drivers look twice.

“Today was different. I walked up and looked at the cost, and it said $1.99 and I kind of just had to glance again to make sure I was reading it correctly,” Emily Sherertz said.

While most people plan to drive, nearly 100,000 people in the Commonwealth are packing their bags to head to the airport.

Some good news for those who traveled over the summer and experienced cancellations due to staffing shortages, AAA believes that issue has been ironed out.

“A lot of the airlines have been able to catch up on that hiring,” Dean said. “So some of those issues that we saw back in the summertime have disappeared and are not really a big deal.”