(WFSB) -  Today is traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year. Most people will be driving to their Thanksgiving destinations.

AAA projects more than 53 million people will travel this year.

That is up about 13% from last year. That includes almost 2.5 million New Englanders who will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. For New Englanders, that is almost a 15% increase from last year.

Experts predict that 87% of these travelers will drive to their holiday destinations. Air travel has also seen an increase of travelers. It has gone up 80% since last year.

Higher gas prices aren’t impacting travel either. In Connecticut today’s average is $3.56 a gallon. That’s up $1.43 from last year.

It's one of the biggest travel days of the year.

This return to near pre-pandemic travel mirrors national trends. AAA predicts 53.4 million people will travel for the thanksgiving holiday, up 13% from last year.

AAA expects to rescue almost 4,000 members over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the greater Hartford area alone. AAA reminds drivers to always slow down and move over for emergency crews and first responders.

Millions of Americans are heading to their Thanksgiving destination Wednesday, which means the next several hours could be pretty chaotic for drivers.

All in all though, travelers Eyewitness spoke with have been in pretty good moods.

Some haven’t taken part in big family gatherings in quite a while and others just say they have a whole lot to be thankful for this year.

Today is traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year. Most people will be driving to their Thanksgiving destinations.

"I’m just thankful that everybody’s ok and that we are able to grow as a community and expand and be able to rejoin and be able to have thanksgiving with each other," Griffin Alleyne of New York tells us.

"My wife’s cousin makes a great Thanksgiving dinner, fresh turkey. It’s amazing, makes any traffic worth it, makes the traffic worth it," Joe Shoback of New Jersey says.

Today is traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year. Most people will be driving to their Thanksgiving destinations.

Experts say travelers are better off starting their trips early in the morning or after 9 p.m. Experts say the worst time to drive today is between 12:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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