Commuters get head start ahead of busy Christmas weekend

Friday marked the start of what AAA is deeming the 10-day holiday travel period.

Rob Taub

Dec 22, 2023, 10:07 PM

Updated 185 days ago


Friday marked the start of what AAA is deeming the 10-day holiday travel period. What can motorists expect as they head over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house?
Rhonda Jefferson did the reverse. The grandmother left her house early to pick up her grandkids and bring them to her house.
"This morning I left out about 6:30 a.m. and we ran into traffic around 8:30 a.m. but after that, once we got passed Delaware, it was clear and open,” Jefferson says.
All modes of travel will see increases this year. Over the next 10 days, AAA is predicting that 2.6 million New Jerseyans will be traveling for the holidays. That’s an increase of 2.7 % compared to last year and 90% of travelers will be doing so by car.
Tracy Noble, of AAA Mid-Atlantic, says that car travel is the easiest mode of transportation to move a large family.
“That’s typically what we see across all the holidays is that car travel is the most common mode of transportation,” Noble says.
AAA says they continue to see travel trending upwards since the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the last two years. The organization says every major holiday this year has seen traveling increase.
"Coming out of the pandemic, people had this thirst for travel because they had been cooped up and didn’t get to spend holidays with friends and family,” says Noble. “So it’s no surprise that we’re ending the year on this high note.”
Gas prices are also a factor in folks choosing to drive. Prices have been stable this week, with the average at about $3.13 per gallon. This time last year, the average price of gas in New Jersey was at $3.24 per gallon.
As for the ride home after the holidays, relief won’t come for a few days because traffic will be jammed up all the days after Christmas, according to AAA.

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