MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCBD) – With less than two days of Thanksgiving, vacation travel is in full swing as many head to their vacation destinations. AAA predicts that 53 million Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving away from home this year, making it the biggest year-over-year increase since 2005.
Travel experts predict that about 48 million of those who travel will hit the road this Thanksgiving year, or about 90 percent of all travelers who should be traveling for the holidays – putting their cars away, their kids, and driving to to their destination.
Enthusiastic vacationers prepare to hit the road to celebrate with their family.
“Ecstatic, yes,” says Chris Cacciatore, returning home to Chicago to see his family.
Congested roads are plentiful, and Thanksgiving trips across the country are bouncing back significantly. Officials say this won’t happen without drivers feeling the impact at the pump. The national average for gasoline is $ 3.41 per gallon, down from just $ 2.10 at the same time last year. Some say the $ 1.31 increase won’t stop them from driving.
“It doesn’t impact me, but I really think about it like sometimes I don’t fill my tank to the fullest because I just don’t like seeing that huge number on the screen, but it doesn’t. has no impact if I travel or where I travel, ”says a traveler who will be celebrating vacations in the upstate.
Cacciatore, who is heading to Chicago, says higher gasoline prices mean he can’t afford the roughly 14-hour drive. He says it’s a reality many students face who also can’t afford to refuel and go home.
“I have to fly because gas prices are going up a bit, so unfortunately it made more sense to go home,” Cacciatore explains.
It’s a trend, according to Cacciatore, that will likely continue until the end of the year, with more students and young adults choosing to fly in the skies.
“Yeah, I think you’re going to see a lot more flights probably for the holidays compared to gas prices,” Cacciatore says.
Gas experts say gas supply is likely not to catch up with demand until next year in 2022, which will keep prices high for consumers. Travelers say they’re just trying to focus on vacationing with family and friends.
“Have a nice Thanksgiving,” Cacciatore says.
Law enforcement agencies say there will be more of them through the end of the holiday week looking for speeding, drunk driving and reckless driving on some of the busiest roads in the State of South Carolina. They predict Sunday will be the busiest for those returning from Thanksgiving.