What you need to know before traveling for Thanksgiving


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Millions of vacationers across the Carolinas will hit the road or fly to visit loved ones for the Thanksgiving vacation.

The AAA projects that 53.4 million Americans will travel, which is a 13% increase from 2020. This also brings travel volumes to less than 5% of pre-pandemic levels for the holidays. 2019.

In South Carolina, AAA expects 753,000 South Carolina residents to travel on Thanksgiving, a 13% rebound from the total number of travelers during the 2020 vacation.

Meanwhile, the travel agency predicts that around 1.5 North Carolinians will travel for Turkey Day, which again represents a 13% rebound from the 2020 holiday.

“It’s starting to look more like a normal vacation travel season, compared to what we saw last year,” said Debbie Haas, vice president of travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Now that U.S. borders are open, vaccines are readily available, and new health and safety guidelines are in place, travel is once again at the top of the list for Americans ready to reunite with loved ones. for the holidays. “


Despite more passengers this year, AAA found that the lowest average airfare was 27.3% lower than last year.

Tuesday and Wednesday are the most expensive and heaviest travel days across the country, while Monday and Thursday are the lightest and cheapest days during the holiday week.

MORE INFORMATION | TSA security wait time, MYR flight tracking

At Myrtle Beach International Airport, there are 34,450 scheduled departure seats, which is a 65% increase over the same period in 2020. According to MYR, Monday, Wednesday and Sunday turn out to be the days busiest travel vehicles with the most seats planned.


With millions of people on the road, AAA is warning drivers to be patient and to allow extra time.

MORE INFORMATION | Traffic and road conditions in South Carolina

The agency listed the worst and best times to hit the road for the Thanksgiving vacation:


  • Worst hour: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Best time: after 9 p.m.


  • Worst moment: 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Best time: before 11 a.m.


  • Worst hour: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Best time: before 11 a.m.


  • Worst hour: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Best time: before 12 p.m.


  • Worst hour: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Best time: before 12 p.m.

AAA adds that you need to make sure you and your vehicle are prepared for the trip. He expects to answer more than 400,000 calls for help over the Thanksgiving weekend. The most common calls are for dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts.


Gas prices across the country spiked in October, and those high prices are expected to continue throughout the holiday season, according to AAA.

MORE INFORMATION | Gas Buddy gas price card

On Monday, the average price of gas in South Carolina was $ 3.10. To put it in perspective, the average price of a gallon of gasoline during Thanksgiving in 2020 was $ 1.87.

In North Carolina, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is $ 3.20. Last year, during Thanksgiving, the average price was $ 1.94 a gallon.

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