Thousands hit the road ahead of Thanksgiving holiday as gas prices rise

The Thanksgiving getaway is underway, and thousands of New Jersey residents have hit the state’s highways ahead of the holiday.
Traffic on the Garden State Parkway seemed to be light near the Cheesequake Rest Area in Old Bridge Wednesday evening, with all lanes wide open.
Route 9 in Avenel was also mostly clear. It seems to indicate that many people headed to their Thanksgiving destinations on Tuesday, or earlier Wednesday morning. Others may be traveling on Thanksgiving morning.
Thanksgiving 2021 is expected to look different than last year. New Jersey was deep in the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many to stay home and away from friends and family.
The holiday travel season comes as gas prices around New Jersey rise. AAA says that the average price of gas in New Jersey is about $3.45 per gallon. One year ago, that average price was $2.21 per gallon.
Some drivers who spoke with News 12 New Jersey say that they are feeling the pain at the pump.
"I don't really realize it until I pay the bill and I'm like, ‘Oh my God this is $10 or $15 more, so it's crazy,” says Joe Barbagallo, of New York City.
AAA estimates that over 1 million New Jersey residents will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.