Going home for the holidays? Or jetting off to somewhere warm this Christmas? Here’s what you need to know.
1 More Americans will be traveling than ever.
According to AAA, more than 103 million Americans — the most on record — are expected to travel this Christmas season (from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2).
- Most of those travelers — 93.6 million people — will be on the roads.
- Six million Americans will be flying this holiday season.
- AAA expects to rescue more than 980,000 motorists over the 11-day holiday travel period, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts
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2 Expect to pay more at the pump.
Nationally, gas prices spiked in December and are expected to keep rising. Across the U.S., the average price of gas this week is $2.25 per gallon, up 26 cents from last year’s year-to-date average of $1.99.
In South Carolina, you can expect to pay more than you did last year as well. Here, the average price is $2.02 per gallon, up 25 cents from last year.
3 Expect long lines at airports.
Both Charleston and Savannah/ Hilton Head airports recommend travelers get to the airport 2 hours before their flight time. If you’re parking your car at the airport, allow an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
4 Plan for extra time on the roads.
Lance Cpl. Matt Southern of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said there are no major areas of the state with construction that will cause delays. However, it’s important to allow for extra time in traffic, he said.
“We expect a lot more people on the roads, and there will be congestion in some areas, especially on the interstates,” Southern said. “I expect I-95 and I-26 will have congestion.”
5 The weather should be great here. Not so much for the rest of the country.
It looks like Beaufort County will be spared from the severe weather sweeping a good portion of the country this holiday weekend. While most of the Midwest is expecting severe weather and a blizzard targeting the upper east coast this weekend, it’ll be mostly sunny and clear in the Lowcountry. Here’s the forecast provided by the National Weather Service:
Friday Increasing clouds, with a high near 61. Northeast wind around 9 mph.
Friday Night A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. Northeast wind 5 to 9 mph becoming light north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.
Saturday Partly sunny, with a high near 69. Light and variable wind becoming west around 6 mph in the morning.
Saturday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 52.
Christmas Day Mostly sunny, with a high near 68.
Sunday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 55.