NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As Thanksgiving holiday travel returns to near pre-pandemic levels, Tennesseans are paying more at the pump than they did last year.

“During the Thanksgiving holiday last year, prices were about $1.25 less expensive than what we’re seeing now,” says Stephanie Milani, the Public Affairs Director for AAA Tennessee.

Both demand and the price of crude oil are higher than they were last year.

This year there will be a lot of drivers on Tennessee roads.

“We’re expecting 1.19 million Tennesseans to hit the road sometime Wednesday or Thursday and then come back over the weekend,” Milani said.

The White House announced Tuesday that the current administration seeks to ease some of this pain at the pump by releasing 50 million gallons of oil from the emergency oil reserves.

“The United States, as well as a number of other countries, do have a strategic oil reserve. And over the past years and decades, presidents have allowed that strategic oil reserve to be tapped in times of decreased supply and increased demand,” says Milani.

While this release of oil will impact gas prices over the next few months, Milani says you won’t see a change in time for the Thanksgiving Holidays.

“If President Biden does release this strategic supply of oil, it will be over the next several months,” Milani said. “So again, we’re not going to see a huge shift at the pump. But we will start to see some relief at the pump in the coming months.”

Milani does have a few tips for increasing your gas mileage. Doing simple things like emptying your car of unnecessary items, making sure your tires are properly inflated and using the AAA app to find the best gas prices nearby can help you save.