President Biden noted that for many Americans, these will be the first personal meetings with relatives since the beginning of the pandemic.

Determined to restore the Thanksgiving traditions that were put on pause last year due to the pandemic, millions of Americans boarded cars or planes to reunite with family and friends.

The number of air travelers is expected to approach or even exceed pre-pandemic levels this week.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts 48.3 million people will drive at least 50 miles (80 kilometers) away from home during the holiday period.

This is almost 4 million more than last year, although gasoline prices are now noticeably higher.

“Thanksgiving gives us time to reflect on our many blessings – from God, from this country, and from each other. We are grateful for these blessings even – and especially – in times of trial,” President Joe Biden said.

Many are encouraged by the fact that nearly 200 million Americans are fully vaccinated.

But it also means putting aside concerns about the resurgent virus at a time when, on average, almost 100,000 new cases a day are being registered in the U.S., and hospitals in Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, and Arizona are experiencing an alarming increase in the number of patients.

Be that as it may, more than 2.2 million people were screened at American airports last Friday, which became the busiest day since the pandemic hit travel early last year.

From Friday to Tuesday, the number of people who flew more than doubled compared to the same days last year and turned out to be less than 9 percent less than on the same days in 2019.

At the International Airport of Newark, New Jersey, Christian Titus flew to relatives in Canada.

“My mental health improves when I’m around my family at times like this,” he said. – Yes, it’s dangerous. But you love these people and you do everything you can to stay safe with them.”

President Biden agrees with this. He stressed that for him and for his family, Thanksgiving was and remains one of the most expensive and important family holidays.

However, the head of the White House added, “for many Americans, this Thanksgiving will be the first personal meeting with loved ones since the beginning of the pandemic – a time of full tables and full hearts.”

For those travelers who will travel by car, the main pain is likely to be the price of gasoline.

According to AAA, the average price of gasoline in the United States as of Tuesday was $3.40 per gallon, which is more than 60 percent higher than last Thanksgiving.

These prices are one of several factors that may deter some travelers.