A historically-high number of travelers are expected on South Carolina roads for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“In fact, we anticipate that there’s going to be an estimated 732,000 South Carolinians traveling 50 miles or more from home for Thanksgiving,” AAA Carolinas spokeswoman Tiffany Wright said. “That’s the most we’ve seen in 13 years.”
Wright said 90 percent of those South Carolina travelers will be driving — the most since 2005.
“A lot of folks parlay this into a vacation so you still will have motorists on the road as early as Monday going to their destinations,” she said. “But definitely the busiest day, as always, is that Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It’s going to be busy pretty much all day.”
Wright suggests if you do not want to deal with traffic and it’s possible, wait until Thanksgiving morning to drive to your destination. It’s the least-congested time to travel during the holiday.
Higher gas prices are apparently not deterring people from driving. AAA reports prices have steadily declined in South Carolina in the last two months.
“We are paying more than we did this time last year at the pump,” she noted. “But, having said that, we have been on a steady decline at the pumps for the last few weeks. We have entered what we call the winter driving season and that’s when we tend to see prices fall.”
The Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving are usually the most popular air travel days and have the highest average price per roundtrip ticket. Thanksgiving Day consistently has the lowest average price per ticket and is the lightest travel day.
Pack your patience if you’re traveling this holiday. The South Carolina Highway Patrol has started its annual holiday traffic enforcement campaign.
“Be patient. Be smart behind the wheel. Disconnect and drive,” Wright said. For real-time traffic information in South Carolina, click here for the Department of Transportation’s 511 website. Or download the AAA mobile app from your app store.