Lafayette,LA - Americans are more eager than ever to hit the roads this year to finally see family members they haven't seen because of the pandemic.
The pandemic resulted in families across the country putting holiday travel plans on hold in 2020. AAA predicts that this year -- 53.4 million people will hit the road for thanksgiving.
"I'm actually going home to South Carolina,"says one resident.
Carsen is excited for the holidays saying, "I am very excited to be going back home. I haven't been back since August."
Millions of families are packing as they get ready to share the road with more people than usual.
Jed Payne hasn't seen his family members in over a year because he didn't want to risk bringing COVID home. "I'm excited about it because I only get to see them once a year because its so far and their getting older so anytime I get to see them it's good."
With many getting behind the wheel deciding to hit the roads for family gatherings, some feel gas prices are still high though AAA has reported that prices are down.
"I mean, right now to me I feel like it's kind of high or whatever. I haven't seen on go down yet," says Tasha Olinde, a Lafayette resident that plans to travel this holiday.
"Not the best I wish it was cheaper but that's how it goes every winter seems like," expressed Payne.
Others say gas prices won't stop people from seeing their loved ones these holidays.
"They just want to get out. People want to get out. They've been indoors for quite some time, and they talked to family over the phone, but it's nothing like being there with your family," says Lucas McZeal.
I just think everybody is very excited to see their family. I know like a lot of my friends haven't been home since august too. Everybody is very excited about going home," an excited Carsen Young believes.
AAA suggests people plan to add extra time to their trip and make sure their cars are running well before hitting the highway. They anticipate helping roughly 400,000 drivers during thanksgiving weekend.
Gas prices are holding relatively steady as we begin the holiday travel season.
AAA shows that nationally... the average price of a gallon of gas is down a penny from last week.
In Louisiana -- the average is $3.13 a gallon.
Acadiana is slightly below that... with an overall average price per gallon of $3.12.