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Holiday hassles

Brace yourself if you're planning on going somewhere for Thanksgiving -- some 533,400 other South Carolinians are, too.

AAA Carolinas is predicting a 2 percent increase over last year for Thanksgiving holiday travel among South Carolinians, despite rising gas prices.

Roads and airports are expected to be packed.

Traveling by road

One bright spot is that road construction on S.C. interstates will be put on hold between noon today and 6 a.m. Tuesday, according to AAA Carolinas. The same goes for North Carolina from now until 9 a.m. Monday.

On the down side, gas prices in South Carolina are up about 88 cents from this time last year. The average price in the state is $2.97, AAA Carolinas said.

To find the cheapest gas near you, visit aaacarolinas.com and enter your zip code on the right side under the banner "gas prices near you."

On the road, state troopers are asking travelers to be patient and mindful of other drivers.

"Traditionally, this is the busiest time of the year for travel," S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Ron Johnson said.

Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday, there was one highway fatality in Chester County and none in York, Johnson said.

Johnson said highways will be especially congested today.

"When they get off work, they'll head for grandma's house, and grandma might live 400 miles away," he said. "They'll try to drive that whole way so they can be there on Thanksgiving day."

Here are some travel tips from the South Carolina Highway Patrol:

• Have your brakes, battery, fluid levels, tire pressure, light bulbs and other parts checked before you leave.

• Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.

• Wear your seat belt.

• Don't tailgate.

• Bring emergency supplies such as a flashlight, blankets, water, snacks, flares, jumper cables, an ice scraper and first aid kit.

• If you have a wreck and are able to move your car, move to the side of the road and dial *hp. If you are injured, call 911.

Traveling by air

About 79,600 South Carolinians are expected to fly to their holiday destinations this year and another 163,000 North Carolinians will join them, according to AAA Carolinas.

To keep the airport lines moving, make sure your carry-on luggage meets federal regulations. Passengers are allowed one carry-on bag. All liquids, such as toiletries, must be 3 ounces or smaller and must fit in a one-quart clear plastic zip-top bag, according to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

If you are traveling with early holiday gifts in tow, don't wrap them. Security officials might unwrap the presents.

For more information on what you can and can't bring on the plane, visit www.tsa.gov.

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