By Kimberly Davis

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — It’s Friday eve and the holiday weekend travel rush is already underway. The roads, rails and skies are busy after more than a year of COVID-19 lockdowns.

According to AAA, more than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend. Eyewitness News spoke with folks hitting the road and others who prefer to stay local.

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As America continues to loosen restrictions and return to normal, more folks are hitting the roadways for Memorial Day weekend.

“Visit New York for my other friends, and Atlantic City,” Las Vegas resident Angelise Rosa said.

Rosa says she’s fully vaccinated and this year’s summer looks a lot different from 2020. She did not travel last year but says being vaccinated comes with a new sense of freedom.

“I feel protected, and I use the covering,” she said.

We spoke with a South Jersey resident who says she’s decided to stay in the area this year, but not due to COVID-19.

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“I think everybody has to do what they feel comfortable with and I think for us, staying close to home with family and friends and kind of our circle is just what we’re going to enjoy this weekend,” Megan said.

One AAA spokesperson says 450,000 people in the Philadelphia area will be traveling for the unofficial start of summer.

“That’s up nearly 60% compared to 2020 but it’s down about 12% compared to 2019. So those numbers indicate that there’s a pent-up demand to travel,” AAA spokesperson Jana Tidwell said.

Most folks are driving this year, and unfortunately, you may be spending more cash at the pump.

“Motorists looking to fill up for the Memorial Day holiday weekend are going to experience the highest gas prices for this holiday weekend since 2014,” Tidwell said.

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94% of travelers are going by car this year and in the tri-state area, most places will cost you more than $3, except in Delaware and apparently in Cherry Hill.

Kimberly Davis