MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means many people are gearing up to travel for the holiday.
Even though Thanksgiving isn’t until Nov. 23, busy travel could begin as early as this Friday.
The Transportation Security Administration says this Friday through next Tuesday will be the busiest holiday travel period ever, up 9% from last year as nearly 3 million people will pass through the nation’s airports.
Myrtle Beach International Airport is preparing for a very busy Thanksgiving travel period.
Starting this Friday up until Nov. 27, MYR plans to see 46,088 people and 343 departing flights. And while air travel is seeing record numbers, the American Automobile Association is seeing the same on the roads.
“At AAA, they’re anticipating over 55 million motorists to be traveling during this holiday period,” said Lance Cpl. Lena Butler with South Carolina Highway Patrol. “We ask the motoring public to remember good driving behaviors.”
Tiffany Wright, the director of public affairs at AAA Carolinas, said she expects a big number of rescues as well.
“So, you know, I expected in the Carolinas alone, we’ll probably rescue anywhere between 10-15,000 motorists during this Thanksgiving holiday period,” she said.
Wright said people traveling the roads during the holidays are also getting an early holiday gift when it comes to gas prices.
“I think they’re going to remain low through Thanksgiving,” she said. “They’re going to continue to kind of decline through the Christmas holiday, if you will. So, we get to the end of the year.”
During the holiday travel period in 2022, SCHP said there were more than 1,400 collisions — 11 of them being fatal.
“We’re going to be working with local law enforcement agencies as well as the state transport officers,” Butler said. “So, yes, there will be an increase in the South Carolina Highway Patrol during this holiday season.”
Officials say the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after are the busiest travel days, so they encourage people to travel on Thanksgiving if possible.
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Gracie is a multimedia journalist at News 13 and is from Cleveland, Ohio. Gracie joined the team in June 2023 after graduating from the University of Alabama in May. Follow Gracie on Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly Twitter, & read more of her work here.