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Thanksgiving travel record-breaking despite people staying home

According to a poll of 7,200 Americans, 50% said they would prefer to stay home this Thanksgiving due to high gas prices.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego International Airport was ranked the second-best midsize airport, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal

According to AAA, San Diego is known to be a top destination spot during the Thanksgiving holiday.

4.5 million people in Southern California are traveling away from home, according to AAA.

"Despite the higher gas prices and inflation, The Auto Club of California finds that this is the highest travel on record, 2% higher than last year," said Doug Shupe, spokesperson for AAA.

Chad Vanderman and his family are at the San Diego International Airport after flying in from Kansas City.

"Well, we’ve been traveling for the past year in an RV. We put the brakes on that, and we are traveling to Hawaii, so we do not spend as much on gas," said Vanderman.

The average gas prices will be at their highest seasonal level ever, according to GasBuddy.

In San Diego, the current gas price is around $5.50 a gallon, making it the most expensive to fill up at the pump, while the national average is $3.68.

"If you are driving on the road this holiday, it is important to inspect your vehicle, check tire tread and inflation, make sure your battery is fully charged, check your headlights and tail lights," said Shupe.

The pandemic changed how most families celebrated the last two Thanksgiving; some are traveling for the first time in years. 

"Things look much more like they did before the pandemic began. Most people are ready to travel again," said Shupe.

"This is our first time leaving home for Thanksgiving! Grandma came along. Where I'm at now, I can't complain. I'm glad we're able to get out and do things," said Alicia Apodaca, traveling from El Paso, TX.

62% of Americans are not planning on road-tripping for Thanksgiving, according to GasBuddy.

According to a poll of 7,200 Americans by Gunther VW Coconut Creek, 50% said they would prefer to stay home this Thanksgiving due to high gas prices. 

When is the best time to travel if you decide to travel?

Wednesday afternoon between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the day after Thanksgiving between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. is expected to be the busiest on the country’s highways.

In the meantime, the Vanderman family says it's all about making intelligent choices before breaking your wallet.

"I think it's tough. You have to make some tough choices or decide if one thing is worth it and try to budget and find a cheaper way of doing things," said Vanderman.

Some other helpful tips for the airport:

  • Reserve your parking ahead of time
  • Use tools like Early Bird Check-In to avoid long lines
  • Download your airline's app to know any changes to your itinerary

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