This Memorial Day travel weekend set to be busiest on record in South Carolina

Updated: May. 24, 2019 at 8:21 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - More than 600,000 South Carolinians will be hitting the road or taking to the air this Memorial Day weekend, making it the holiday’s busiest weekend since AAA started keeping records of it in 2000.

Officials at the Charleston International Airport are expecting between 17,000 and 19,000 fliers a day to be coming in and out over this weekend. That’s a 14-percent increase from what they saw last year.

The Charleston International Airport expects between 17,000 and 19,000 fliers a day, a 14...
The Charleston International Airport expects between 17,000 and 19,000 fliers a day, a 14 percent increase over last year's Memorial Day weekend.

“Memorial Day Weekend is just the beginning of a very busy travel season here in Charleston,” Paul Campbell, the airport’s director, said. “We can’t stress enough the importance of passengers arriving early to allow time for parking, airline check-in and TSA security lines,”

The airport recommends getting to the airport at least two hours before your flight if flying domestically or three hours if flying internationally.

“Due to the construction of our new parking garage, our current parking lots are filling up faster which means more people will be parking in our remote lots and taking the shuttle to the terminal,” Campbell said. “Because this will add time to your schedule, it’s imperative to arrive early so you aren’t rushing to catch your flight. “

But folks in South Carolina aren’t just flying this weekend. 539,000 are set to hit the road, according to AAA. That’s an increase of 20,000 travelers from last year. As for the gas prices, they went in the other direction. In the Charleston area, the average price of gas is down about 20-cents from this same time last year, according to Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy.

This means if someone is driving a car that’s getting 25 miles-to-the-gallon, it’ll cost just under $20 to drive round trip from Charleston to Myrtle Beach, about about $40 on a round trip drive to Greenville and more than $60 to get back and forth from Atlanta.

“Wherever you’re going, check gas prices before going in another state,” DeHaan said. “You can easily save 15 to 20 cents before crossing state borders.”

Click here to find the cheapest gas in your neighborhood.

Temperatures during the Memorial Day weekend could hit the century mark, prompting the Live 5 First Alert Weather team to declare First Alert Weather Days for Friday through Sunday.

Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh says highs on Saturday, Sunday and Monday could reach 100 degrees as a high pressure system remains over our area.

Click here to download the free Live 5 News and First Alert Weather apps.

The National Weather Service says maximum heat index values could reach 105 degrees or higher Sunday through Wednesday afternoon. The agency issues heat advisories when heat index values reach at least 105 degrees.

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