Higher gas prices and the prospect of nasty winter weather weren't keeping holiday travelers in North and South Carolina from hitting the road Thursday.
The number of travelers in both states was expected to increase by 3 or 4 percent from last year, when about 1.2 million South Carolinians and nearly 3 million North Carolinians traveled for the holidays, according to AAA Carolinas.
"There's been a little bit of pent-up demand," spokesman Tom Crosby said. "People really want to get out and enjoy the holidays."
Mike Matthai, 65, was stopped at a rest area along Interstate 20 near Camden, S.C., on his way to Maryland to spend the holidays with his two children. It's a trip he makes every year.
"You definitely have plans long before Christmas and you definitely are going to travel no matter what, because it involves your family," he said.