NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Nearly 1 million South Carolinians are gearing up for holiday travel and here in the Lowcountry, officials are working to make sure the skies and roadways stay safe.
Officials with AAA say they predict 750,000 people statewide to travel in the next week. Travelers at the Charleston International Airport say they are flying for the first time this holiday season since the beginning of the pandemic.
“I figured maybe flying before Thanksgiving, I could miss a little more of the bustle its easier going that way,” says Michael Mancill, who is traveling from the Lowcountry back home to Alaska.
AAA says they expect airports to be crowded, even though 90% of people are going to travel by car.
“Travelers like to be in control they feel like they can control their travel experience the fact they’re the ones getting them to their destinations, so road trips are going to reign supreme,” says Tiffany wright, Director of Public Affairs AAA Carolina’s.
Wright says she expects congested airports and more traffic on the roads this year, with the pandemic putting a halt to holiday travel from last year.
“The airports are going to be a lot more crowded this year because the U.S. borders are now open to vaccinated international travelers. That’s something we didn’t see last year,” says Wright.
Mancill says he’s glad to finally see his family for the holiday’s no matter the distance.
“I’ve been vaccinated and I’m feeling more comfortable now. There’s a lot of travel I put off, but there’s family I want to see and loved ones I want to be with, so I can’t stay scared for forever,” Mancill says.
AAA says they expect the busiest days of travel to be the Wednesday before thanksgiving and the Sunday returning back.