By Lisa Gresci

BOSTON (CBS) — Thanksgiving plans are back on the table with a side of traffic. Many of these drivers are trying to get a head start Tuesday night.

“Very bad. Very, very, very bad,” said Kaili Awalt from Stoughton. “A lot of people are traveling earlier rather than later.”

“I am concerned about traffic, I just left work a little early so I didn’t get stuck,” said Ellen Quirk from Hanover.

AAA’s Mark Schieldrop said over a million people here in Massachusetts will be getting behind the wheel for the holiday this year.

“We’re expecting to see travel numbers from where we were before the pandemic began and we were at record territory in 2019,” he explained.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

As the roads fill up, so are the gas tanks.

“I am filling up to get home, to get ready for Thanksgiving. And head to Rhode Island from there,” another driver said.

It’s hitting drivers where it hurts: the wallet.

“What used to take me what would be like $25 is almost double it now,” Quirk said.

Gas prices now are around $3.40 a gallon, compared to $2.11 this time, last year.

“I can say it’s the highest single-year increase in gas prices we’ve seen since 2005,” Schieldrop said.

To keep gas prices from climbing, even more, the Biden administration is now authorizing a plan to release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a supply of oil that the U.S. keeps for emergencies along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

“Hopefully, they will come down,” Quirk said.

Experts say while it could be a step in a better direction, it will be some time before we know for sure.

“A change in the price of the oil doesn’t instantly change the price at the pump. It could take some time, weeks, months for that to really be reflected in the gas price,” Schieldrop added.

Experts say if you can’t beat the traffic to get to your Thanksgiving destination, wait until Thanksgiving morning because Wednesday will be the worst of it.

Lisa Gresci