CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A record-breaking 4.5 million Carolinians plan to travel during the year-end holiday season this year, which is a 3.1 percent increase from last year.
Some 1.4 million South Carolinians will travel by automobiles, planes, trains and other modes of transportation according to AAA. The year-end holiday period is defined as Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1. Just over 1.3 million South Carolinians hitting the roads over the 10 day holiday period.
Additionally, the Charleston International Airport expects 200,000 passengers in the next two weeks, 30,000 more than 2016.
"Higher prices at the gas pumps are not preventing Carolinians from getting behind the wheel to visit with family and friends," President and CEO of AAA Carolinas said in a statement. "With record numbers on the road, we want to remind everyone to buckle up, never drink and drive, eliminate distractions and exercise patience to help prevent road rage."
AAA Carolinas recommends that motorists avoid driving through major cities during peak travel times. Additionally, AAA offers the following holiday road survival tips:
- Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads.
- Keep valuables in the trunk or covered storage area.
- Have your roadside assistance contact information on hand in case an incident occurs on the road.
- Keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times, in case of emergency.
- Obey traffic safety laws: Wear your seatbelt. Don’t speed. Don’t drink and drive. Eliminate distractions behind the wheel, such as mobile devices.
- Disconnect and drive.
- Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is road-trip ready. Stop by a trusted repair shop for an inspection.
AAA estimates 85,000 South Carolinians will travel by air during the year-end holiday. Many Carolinians are choosing to travel to vacation destinations during this period. The top year-end holiday destinations based on AAA Carolinas traveling bookings are
- Western Caribbean Cruise
- Eastern Caribbean Cruise
- Dominican Republic
- New York City
- North Carolina
- Las Vegas
AAA Carolinas estimates 35,000 South Carolinians will use other modes of transportation, including trains, buses and rails.