Holiday travelers get an early start

"Normally, we hit problems coming out of Maryland into Delaware at the toll booth, but we didn't have any problems today," said Daniel Kauffman.

Thursday, early bird holiday travelers hit the road; their mission to beat the day-before-Christmas Eve rush.

Friday traffic is expected to be heavier.

"Could not ask for a better day with 64 degrees and traffic was light coming down through Jersey," said Warren Sweeney.

The Halls of Virginia stopped to eat during their return from New Jersey where they picked up their son who is in boarding school.

"this is our first experience for the most part, but my guess is that this will become a tradition. Because this is going to be his break to be with us," said Don Hall.

Another man from long island was heading south. "I'm going to visit my son in D.C.," said Tom Mangiaracina. "And then we are going to my sister's house in Atlanta."

JacK Brin was traveling from Raleigh, North Carolina to New York.

"We will go into the city and have some dinner and see some Broadway plays, and then head back to the Carolina's once the holidays are over after New Year's," said Brin.

Gas prices are up compared to last year by more than 20 cents, but AAA Mid-Atlantic, says the number of folks traveling by car will be up slightly.

"Our forecast is for a 1.2% increase in travel in the Philadelphia region," said Jenny Robinson. "It is still going to be a lot of people. We project over a million people will be traveling over 50 miles from home."

The hope of most people on the road on Thursday is to be with loved ones by Christmas Eve.

Daryl Cooper of Maryland is not sure where he will be. A big rig driver, he was in New York last Christmas. This Christmas he may be heading for Boston.

"I'd rather be home with my family, but you know, I have to work," said Cooper.

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