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'Definitely cheaper to drive': Millions are driving for Thanksgiving holiday

The Georgia Department of Transportation says Wednesday will be the most heavily congested, but the holiday traffic starts as early as Tuesday night.

MACON, Ga. — Thanksgiving week is here, and it seems folks are rushing to get home for the holidays. If you're hitting the road, AAA says to leave early.

That's because you can expect much heavier traffic from Monday through Wednesday. The Georgia Department of Transportation says Wednesday will be the most heavily congested, but the holiday traffic starts as early as Tuesday night.

However, 13WMAZ’s Jessica Cha spoke to folks who say that isn't stopping them from driving to their holiday destinations, and even prefer it over flying.

It’s definitely cheaper to drive,” says Stephanie Mykoniatis, who says she’s in Georgia for the first time.

Mykoniatis is on a Thanksgiving road trip with her family of four. She says they're from Massachusetts and visiting friends in Orlando, Florida.

"Our first stop was in the Virginia area-- it was about an eight-hour drive. We went to Atlanta visiting some friends over there, and from Atlanta we're driving all the way to Orlando,” she explains.

According to AAA, airfare costs 22% more than last year. Mykoniatis says that's why they're driving.

“If we had to go via plane it would probably be around $300-400  per person versus driving now, we've probably filled up $200 worth of gas-- and maybe around a $100 more until we arrive there,” she says. 

Michael Potters is also passing through Georgia, coming from Massachusetts. 

"It's going to be nuts in the airports and what not,” he says.

Potters says he’s going on a solo trip to Florida for the holiday.

"I think I did about 800-900 miles, but my total destination is about 1,400 miles,” he explains. 

Potters says flying would've been faster, but it's saving him a lot of money to drive. 

“Right now, I think it's about $90, maybe about $100, so that's pretty cheap.”.

Yas Higuchi is coming from the Atlanta area with his son, daughter, and wife. He says they're heading to Hilton Head to hit the beach in more ways than one. 

"There's, like, a 5K on Thanksgiving Day, and it's on the beach, and we're both going to run it,” he says, with his arm around his 6-year old son, Urie. 

Higuchi says it's just more convenient to drive, rather than flying with a family his size. 

"Getting on the plane is a little bit of a hassle, it's also not too bad of a drive from Atlanta to Hilton Head,” says Higuchi. 

The Georgia Department of Transportation says the best time to travel for drivers is before 10 a.m. They also say to give yourself 30 to 45 minutes of extra travel time. 

Or if you're like Sam Ziegenvein, who's 8 years old, you just like taking the scenic route. 

"I think you get to see a lot of things,” he says. 

One woman even told us that her husband is a pilot and flying to her destination would be free; however, they're opting to drive anyway because the hassle of the holiday rush in airports is too much they say.

AAA reports that despite higher gas prices, 89% of Thanksgiving travelers will drive.

If you fill your tank before hitting the road, prices in Georgia remain about 50 cents below the national average.

Even the national average is down about 20 cents from last month. A gallon of regular in Macon costs about $3.11. Folks in Warner Robins are paying $2.96 for a gallon of regular.

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