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Thanksgiving travel kicks off with high gas prices, busy TPA

Tampa International Airport expects to see an average of approximately 70,000 travelers per day over the Thanksgiving stretch.

TAMPA, Fla. β€” Thanksgiving travel in Florida is forecast to be the busiest in nearly two decades – since 2005.

Tampa International Airport is preparing for an influx of travelers. On average, they expect to see approximately 70,000 passengers a day during this period, up from a daily average of approximately 55,000 in previous months.  

TPA says the Saturdays and Sundays before and after Thanksgiving will be the busiest days during this holiday stretch. On those days, they're preparing to see as many as 75,000 to 80,000 passengers.

"Travelers and those picking them up should be aware that higher volumes could mean more road congestion, fewer parking spaces, and longer lines upon arrival at TPA, particularly on peak weekend days," leaders from the Tampa airport explain. 

RELATED: Travel tips: How to beat crowds at TPA, PIE this Thanksgiving week

Meanwhile, AAA forecasts more than 2.9 million Floridians will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving this year, that's 2 percent more than last year.

If you're opting to hit the road, you'll be paying more at the pump. 

Gas prices are up this month. As of Friday, the state average for a gallon of regular gas sits at $3.50. That's on track to be a record high for this time of year, according to AAA.  

The higher average price at the pump is leading some travelers to adjust their holiday plans.

Jasmyne Joseph was filling up at a pump in Tampa when she told 10 Tampa Bay, "I need to stay in Tampa because I cannot afford to drive too far. My hometown is Orlando, but gas prices are shooting high so I have to stay close." 

RELATED: Traveling for the holidays? Thanksgiving travel to exceed pre-pandemic levels in Florida

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