BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Travelers who took the roads to get home see some unexpected gas prices.

Rochelle Ritchie caught up with drivers who say they definitely noticed a change in just four days.

Drivers were met with an unwelcome surprise at the pump, but the good news is the prices will not stay this high for long.

The Thanksgiving holiday got off to a smooth start at the pump with prices well below average, only to suddenly spike after all the turkey and stuffing.

“The gas prices have definitely gone up. On my way down, I stopped for gas and gas was $3.33 a gallon. But now, as we can see, it’s $3.53,” said driver Nicole Harris.

The national average for a gallon of gas is $3.28 — four cents higher than a week ago, but 13 cents lower than this time last year.

Even with AAA’s report of less people on the road this year — a 1.5 percent drop from last year in Maryland — drivers say they’re still spending more in gas, even without the increased prices, because it’s taking more time to get to their final destination

“It took us five hours just to get right here from New York. It’s a lot longer than what it used to be,” one driver said.

While the increased gas prices may seem like an opportunity for gas companies to make more money, there is a legitimate reason behind the increased prices. According to AAA, a number of Gulf Coast refineries are in stronger demand because of the holidays and planned maintenance.

Some say driving during the holiday season is a waste of money when other options, like the bus, are much cheaper.

“You can normally get a Megabus ticket for $10, but because of the holidays they increased it to, like, $40. Just depending on when you buy it,” Nicole Reynolds said.

Officials with AAA expect the prices to decrease throughout the rest of the year.

Maryland’s average price at the pump — $3.42 — is higher than the national average.

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