Gas prices may be up this Thanksgiving, but so is the number of Washington area drivers expected to hit the road. (Mark Gail/WASHINGTON POST)

“The cost of fuel is not expected to significantly influence travel this Thanksgiving,” John B. Townsend II of AAA told the Post’s Ashley Halsey III.

The price for regular unleaded gasoline at local pumps has averaged $3.41 per gallon for the last week, Townsend said. This cost is right in line with the $3.40 per gallon cost forecasted by the auto club earlier this month.

It’s also more than 50 cents higher than Thanksgiving 2010, when area motorists paid the relative bargain price of $2.87.

“After being stuck at home for three years, stressed and strained by their financial woes, Washington area residents are finally leaving the city to spend time with their family and friends,” despite the cost, Townsend said.

If you’re looking for a deal on the cheapest gas in the D-M-V, you might want to check out, which maintains a database of reports from volunteer price spotters and service stations across the Washington region.

Tell us: Are you one of the million people from the Washington area traveling next week? How are you planning to keep travel costs down this Thanksgiving? Leave your tips in the comments.

More holiday travel advice:

1 million local travelers expected Thanksgiving weekend

Dr. Gridlock’s holiday getaway hangout

Holiday 2011 getaway guide