AAA estimated some 465,000 residents of the Philly region planned to travel 50 miles or more for the holiday weekend.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- AAA predicted this year's Memorial Day travel would be back to pre-pandemic levels, and from the looks of I-76 westbound on Monday afternoon, they were right.
The traffic was backed up at that time, but also had extended periods of loosened volume perhaps because drivers chose different times and methods of travel for the holiday weekend.
At 30th Street Station, some people were arriving home on Monday morning.
"I just came from New York City this morning," said Egg Miles of Center City.
Others were headed out.
"We're going to New York City," said Brooklyn Flick whose family came to Philadelphia from Texas via plane and is now headed to New York via train. Most travelers experienced an easy morning trip through 30th Street Station
It seemed to be the same ease for those who flew back home early.
"We flew to Mexico, Cancun," said Shimaine Brown of Logan. She ended her holiday weekend a bit early by flying back from Mexico before Monday.
"The airport was fine. It was coming back was a little crowded," she said.
By noon on Monday, the Ben Franklin Bridge started to build volume with people coming back from the shore. As the hours ticked on, I-76 experienced periods of backup and then loosening volume.
AAA estimated some 465,000 residents of the Philadelphia region, mostly drivers, planned to travel 50 miles or more for the holiday weekend. But we found plenty of people who were content to stay at home
"Just had a weekend off finally so stayed at home," said Joe Hatcher as he filled his SUV with gas. He estimated it would cost him more than $100. The high prices were enough to influence other drivers to stay home too.
"I didn't travel this weekend. I just stayed. My family's cooking out today," said Irielle Green of Bala Cynwyd.
Even though it doesn't feel like a break, gas prices are actually down just a couple of pennies from a week ago. The national average sits at about $4.61. Pennsylvania is more than 20 cents higher at about $4.84. South Jersey's average is $4.71 and Delaware is $4.62 for a gallon of regular gas.
"We thought about New Jersey so we could fill up on the way home," said Zach Gross of Bala Cynwyd.
Even though they dropped over the last week, gas prices are actually a lot higher compared to last month. They are 48 cents higher in Philadelphia and 56 cents higher in New Jersey.