AAA estimates 186,000 South Dakotans will travel for Thanksgiving

AAA estimates 55 million will travel for Thanksgiving
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 1:34 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - AAA estimates a total of 55 million nationwide will be on the road for Thanksgiving travel, which is a 6% increase from previous years.

Terry Ten Cate, a travel consultant from Sioux Falls AAA, said this applies across the board, whether it’s driving, flying, or even cruises.

He said you can expect to begin to see those travelers soon.

“Tuesday and Wednesday are normally the typical busiest days that people are leaving so that they’re in their destination by Thanksgiving. On Sunday you’ll see a lot because most people need to get back for that Monday morning for work or school or something like that. So, it’s Tuesday, Wednesday and Sundays are the peak days,” said Ten Cate.

In addition to road travel, there will be an increase in people flying to their holiday destinations as well. With ongoing construction happening at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, travelers should be aware of the impact it could have on their plans.

“I think this year, the biggest thing is parking is going to be a major issue at the airport. Until the new parking structure is completed, I think it’s going to be very difficult to find places to park. So, you may want to see if a family member or a friend or a neighbor can bring you out to the airport and pick you up if you’re going because, I think, parkin is going to be a premium this year,” said Ten Cate.

Regardless of how you travel, Ten Cate suggests being prepared and patient.

“The problem with South Dakota is we don’t know the weather. So, we just recommend that if you’re going to be on the roadways to be prepared for the unexpected so you can drive safely and get to your destination on time. Again, if you’re going to be flying, the recommendation is you show up at the airport at least two hours prior to. We’d rather have you sitting in the gate area saying, ‘Everything is so great and wonderful, we’re going to make the flight!’ than standing in line at a security checkpoint when the flight is boarding and we’re still standing here,” said Ten Cate.