PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Memorial Day weekend kicks off Friday, and it’s expected to be the busiest for travel since 2019 – but it will come at a cost. Gas prices in the Philadelphia area are still causing pain at the pump.

In Pennsylvania, the average is around $4.87 a gallon. In South Jersey, it’s $4.72 and in Delaware gas is $4.61 for a gallon of regular.

Memorial Day Weekend Travel Expected To Busiest Since 2019 As Gas Prices Rise

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According to AAA, the number of people planning to go away this weekend will be up more than 8% compared to last year, with 39.2 million people expected to travel nationwide. Thursday and Friday are expected to be the busiest days for travel. 

Almost 35 million will hit the road. Another three million are expected to fly. Philadelphia airport officials are expecting 500,000 passengers coming in and out of the airport this weekend, starting Wednesday through next Tuesday.

Depending on the time of day, travelers at Philadelphia International Airport are either sailing through security checkpoints or waiting in long lines.

“We’re looking at a lot of people coming in especially early morning flights have been the busiest,” PHL spokesperson Heather Redfern said.

The unofficial start of summer means heightened travel for Memorial Day Weekend.

“We’re heading to Georgia to visit my daughter then we head home on Tuesday,” Kimberlee Sandry of Colorado Springs said.

TSA officials say 2.15 million passengers were screened across the country on Wednesday which is their start of the holiday weekend travel.

At Philadelphia International Airport officials say it’s all hands on deck as they prepare for this weekend’s busiest days: Thursday and Friday.

“We’re about 25% down this holiday period than we were in 2019 but we’re about 36% up than we were last year,” Redfern said.

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And ticket prices are much higher than pre-pandemic. Khadir Mustafa, of Lansdowne, bought a ticket to Benin.

“From $800 to now like $1,700,” Mustafa said.

According to AAA. 423,000 people from the Philadelphia region are expected to drive to their destination this weekend. And 10,000 will use a bus, train or cruise.

Some are calling it “revenge travel.”

“What we’ve gone through as a country over the past couple years, that is spurring people to just get out,” Andrew Gross, a AAA spokesperson, said. “They want to have those experiences.”

Nationally, gas prices are the highest they’ve ever been for Memorial Day so some drivers are keeping it local.

“It does deter me a little just because I don’t wanna keep paying for gas over and over again,” Ivri Daniels of Southwest Philly.

Gas prices are not the only thing bumping up prices for the holiday weekend.

AAA says hotels are up 42% compared to last year.

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If you do plan to travel, here are some tips:

    • Experts say to save on gas, don’t fill up right off the freeway.
    • Get about a mile or so, away — where prices may be lower.
    • Travel experts also suggest making sure you’re up to date on car maintenance –  have good tire pressure and stick to the speed limit to help maximize your gas mileage.
    • With the severe weather expected on Friday, there could be potential flight delays or cancellations. Make sure to check with your airline, and if possible sign up for alerts that go directly to your phone.