• Fri. Sep 23rd, 2022

What you need to know before traveling for Thanksgiving

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Millions of vacationers across the Carolinas will be hitting the road or taking to the skies to visit loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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

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

Meanwhile, the travel company predicts nearly 1.5 North Carolinas will travel for Turkey Day, again representing a 13% rebound from the 2020 holiday.

“It’s starting to look more like a normal holiday season, compared to what we saw last year,” said Debbie Haas, vice president of travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Now that US 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 who are ready to reunite with loved ones for the holidays.”


Although more people are traveling this year, AAA found that the lowest average airfare is 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 during the holiday week.

MORE INFORMATION | TSA Security Wait Times, Flight Tracking at MYR

At Myrtle Beach International Airport, there are 34,450 scheduled departing seats, which represents a 65% increase over the same period in 2020. According to MYR, Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays turn out to be be the busiest travel days with the highest number of seats scheduled.


With millions of people on the roads, AAA warns drivers to be patient and plan for extra time.

MORE INFORMATION | South Carolina Traffic and Road Conditions

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


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


  • Worst time: 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Best time: Before 11 a.m.


  • The worst time: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Best time: Before 11 a.m.


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


  • The worst time: 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 respond to more than 400,000 calls for help over the Thanksgiving weekend. The most common calls are for dead batteries, punctures and blockages.


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

MORE INFORMATION | Gas Buddy Gas Price Map

On Monday, the average gas price in South Carolina was $3.10. To put it into 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 gas is $3.20. Last year during Thanksgiving, the average price was $1.94 a gallon.

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