Travelers getting an early start on Thanksgiving getaways

Drivers on the road for Thanksgiving holiday
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 4:25 PM EST
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - As Thanksgiving draws near, the West Virginia Department of Transportation is expecting this week to be among the busiest weeks of the whole year with roughly 730,000 vehicles on the road between Tuesday through Sunday.

West Virginia DOT officials expect 156,000 drivers through toll plazas on Wednesday and 165,000 drivers on Sunday.

AAA expects more than 91% of West Virginians heading to a loved one’s for the holidays will be heading by car, or about 242,000 residents.

The organization also expects between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday and between 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday to be among the worst travel times.

“We stopped at a hotel on the way down, so it wasn’t straight through, but traffic’s been good, weather’s been good. So far, so good,” said Val McKee, who started the journey to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from Chicago on Monday evening. “It’s just an easy time to get off when the kids are off school because it’s hard for them to miss so many days of school, so when they have the week off like this, we take it off and just try and dry somewhere.”

AAA said most people driving to their location will see gas about a quarter higher in West Virginia than it had been this time last year, averaging about $3.55 in the Mountain State.

However McKee said it is noticeably cheaper than their home state and other states they needed to drive through.

“I do work two jobs,” Tim McKee said. “It’s nice to actually just get away with the family and the dog and spend more time with them.”

AAA indicates the best time to get on the road before the holiday is before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. Wednesday.