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Travel costs increase ahead of the holidays

Higher airline and gas prices are continuing to increase travel costs.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — They say there’s no place like home for the holidays. 

Soon millions of Americans will be hitting the road for the holiday travel season.

“This year, about 54.6 million people are expected to get in their car and travel at least 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving," said Jason Kirsch, a spokesperson from AAA of Central Pennsylvania.

Many Americans will also be taking to the skies during the holiday season. At Harrisburg International Airport, around 26,000 people are expected to pass through the terminal gates during Thanksgiving week.

“That’s about 7% more than what we had last year and about 85% of the record year that the industry and this airport had back in 2019," said Scott Miller, a spokesperson with Harrisburg International Airport. "So, we’re basically back to levels we saw prior to COVID.”

While the demand for holiday traveling is up, so is the price tag.

“We’ve been saving up for Thanksgiving and any other traveling we have to do," said Jensen, who is traveling for the holidays.

Gas prices across the Commonwealth hover around $4.08 a gallon, according to AAA. A price tag that weighs on the minds of some travelers.

“We start breakfast with my family, then we have to go to another family," said Jensen. "So it’s going to be a lot of traveling on the road and a lot of gas being used.”

Higher prices are also impacting air travel, due to fewer available flights.

“A lot of people want to go places and there are fewer seats to sell," said Miller. "Plus, with increasing fuel costs and higher pilot wages, the airlines have more pricing power than they’ve had in years.”

Travel experts advise people to book their trips ahead of time to avoid paying higher airline prices this holiday season. Drivers are also advised to use EZ-Passes to save on toll roads and take advantage of gas point rewards programs.

“We’re not going for the turkey; we’re going for the gas points. That’s our strategy this year," said Jensen.

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