More Illinoisans plan to hit the road for Thanksgiving this year

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By Andrew Hensel | The Center Square

Despite fuel prices in Illinois being higher than the national average, many Illinois residents are expected to travel this Thanksgiving week.

“The roads are going to be busy and the airports are going to be full,” Molly Hart of AAA told The Center Square. “Here in Illinois, nearly 2.8 million people are going to be traveling somewhere 50 miles or more.”

The average price for a gallon of gas is currently $4.00 in Illinois, which is higher than the national average of $3.66 per gallon. Hart said many travelers have budgeted their trips around the inflated prices.

“People are just changing their driving or their budgeting differently this year,” Hart said. “What I mean by that is maybe they are packing extra bottles of water and snacks instead of stopping at a gas station or somewhere to grab lunch.”

Hart also explained that the heavy amount of travel in Illinois is on par with the rest of the nation.

“When we put together our Thanksgiving forecast, we saw that this year 54.6 million people will be traveling this Thanksgiving nationally, and 89% of those people will be traveling by car,” Hart said. “We are coming out of the pandemic, and people want to spend this holiday with their loved ones.”

To avoid having to fill up too much this weekend, Illinois residents are encouraged by their local AAA branches to make sure they have at least a quarter tank of gas before hitting the road. Travelers can also see a map of road closures throughout the state on the Illinois Department of Transportation website.

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