HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – This year, Thanksgiving will be unlike those in recent years as the nation and world continue to deal with a global health crisis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that staying at home is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but millions are still expected to travel to see loved ones during the holiday weekend.
AAA Carolinas is urging travelers to plan ahead and know what restrictions are in place at your Thanksgiving travel destination.
The travel group created a COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map so people know which places have mask mandates, travel checkpoints and travel restrictions.
MORE INFORMATION | AAA COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map
We have put together a guide, so you know the best way to prepare before you head out the door to see your loved ones during this unusual holiday season.
AAA Carolinas predicts that Wednesday afternoon will be the busiest time on the road for holiday travelers.
The group estimates that 660,000 South Carolinians will drive to their Thanksgiving destination. And this year, they will be seeing some of the cheapest gas prices. The state’s average is around $1.87 which is 41 cents less than a year ago. The Palmetto State made the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets.
GAS PRICES | Find Cheapest Gas Price on Your Road Trip
Drivers are advised to plan ahead and minimize stops along the way. AAA Carolinas suggests pack meals and extra snacks and drinks for road trip.
South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers and officers will also increase their presence on the roadways beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday and ending at midnight on Sunday.
“While COVID-19 may impact traffic volume, our troopers are preparing for heavy travel,” said SC Highway Patrol Col. Chris Williamson. “Troopers will place a special emphasis on those violations that historically lead to deadly collisions during Thanksgiving travel including distracted and aggressive driving, speed, DUI and failure to buckle up.”
Drivers can also monitor traffic conditions by using the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s traffic information page.
There is expected to be a major decrease in air travel this year with COVID-19 on top of mind.
AAA Carolinas estimates that 29,000 South Carolinians will fly to their destinations, which is a 46% decrease compared to last year.
Those headed to Myrtle Beach International Airport will notice some several new health and safety measures in place to protect you at the TSA checkpoints.
The airport has added acrylic barriers, touchless credential authentication technology and social distancing signage.
Myrtle Beach International Airport makes it easy for travelers to check the security wait times, flight status and parking options for the airport.
MORE INFORMATION | Check Security Wait Time, Parking Options, Flight Tracker at MYR
Travel experts are reminding flyers that in-flight amenities, such as food and beverage service, may not be available due to COVID-19.
Also remember to wipe down your seat, armrest, belt buckle and tray table with disinfecting wipes.