AAA and troopers expect travel to bounce back this Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:33 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2021 at 7:34 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Wednesday is historically the busiest travel day of the year and AAA of the Carolinas says hotels are going to be busy, rental cars booked, and roads and airports are going to be busy all day long.

The spokesperson for AAA Carolinas, Tiffany Wright, says Thanksgiving travel is going to look a lot different this year compared to last year as travel is bouncing back.

Wright says they expect about 753,000 South Carolinians will be traveling 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving.

While a majority of folks will be traveling on the road, she says they predict long lines and waits at the airport too.

Wright says they’ve heard concerns already from people saying it’s been much harder to find rental cars, which she attributes partly to a huge semi-conductor shortage.

Wright says hotel rates are going to be higher across the country this Thanksgiving as well.

“So, rates are going to be high,” Wright said. “But at the end of the day, I think everybody’s just so eager and so excited to travel, and there’s just more confidence out there.”

In total, AAA expects travel this Thanksgiving to be only about 2% lower than in 2019.

“The Carolinas, we are just a huge artery to so many places,” Wright said. “I mean we’re talking about beaches, the mountains, all through the Carolinas, we are just highly traveled.”

The South Carolina Highway Patrol says they’ve already seen traffic busier than usual on the major interstates, like I-26, 95, and 77 this week.

Lance Cpl. Nick Pye with the Highway Patrol says they’ll have troopers on the roads 24/7 this week, through Monday.

“What we’re doing is getting more troopers out on the road and being available to help those that are traveling,” Pye said.

He says folks need to be prepared for delays and for accidents to happen.

He advises you to do your pre-trip inspections, which is something AAA advises as well. They say with more people using their cars than they did last year, make sure to check the air in your tires and test your batteries.

According to the SC department of public safety, there have been 976 traffic deaths this year so far, which surpasses the total number of deaths we saw in 2020

Pye says you can always reach out to them if you have any issues and can report aggressive driving by calling 911.

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