Travel

AAA

Many Americans are going to be on the move this Memorial Day weekend. Experts say traveler numbers could reach the highest point in over a decade.

AAA projects over 39 million Americans are travelling more than 50 miles for Memorial Day. This is one million more than last year and the highest numbers since 2005. This is the third consecutive year travelling numbers are projected to see growth.

That forecast comes despite higher gas prices. More than 88% of travelers are expected to drive, with gas prices being higher than last Memorial Day.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s Secretary of Tourism says you should take Friday off. It’s National Travel and Tourism week, and state officials are seizing the opportunity to lure people away from their desks and into the wild. They also celebrate South Dakotans who promote tourism in their everyday work. 

Workers at the South Dakota Department of Tourism have a long week promoting their industry. Secretary Jim Hagen says an expectation remains: employees should use their paid time off.

SD Department of Transportation

Department of Transportation officials say funds for winter roadway maintenance are adequate despite a late coming winter that’s brought more precipitation than last year. 

The DOT winter maintenance budget is $17.5 million. That covers resources like snow removal and de-icing of interstate and highway systems.

Of that $17.5 million, $8.5 million has already been used. But Jason Humphrey, the state construction and maintenance engineer, says the remaining funds should last the rest of the season.  

Couple Brings Cuban Culture To South Dakota

Jan 10, 2017
Tass Thacker

Stories of salsa dancing and hot Cuban summers warmed up a frozen Rapid City audience this weekend. The owners of Images of the World presented a slideshow of their latest adventure and educated a crowd on Cuban culture.

Nearly 130 people fill a room in Rapid City’s Journey Museum as Bruce Junek introduces the Cuba Libre slide show. 

Junek and Tass Thacker have traveled the world together since 1979. They create photo and video slide shows on different cultures and present them to schools  and organizations across the country.

First Winter Storm Of The Season Hits I-29 Corridor Hardest

Nov 18, 2016
SD DOT

The first winter storm of the season is tracking across South Dakota and into Minnesota.  

The storm brought a winter weather advisory to parts of the west, a winter storm warning in Sioux Falls and a blizzard warning to the northeast corner of the state.  

Traffic accidents and no travel advisories are delaying motorists. One accident left a semi-trailer blocking northbound traffic on I-29 near the Vermillion exit.

Kevin Woster

Dakota Midday hits  the road this week. Host Lori Walsh asked Dakota Political Junkie Kevin Woster to record some thoughts on driving across the state.

Fourth of July Travel At All-Time High

Jun 27, 2016

This Fourth of July weekend could see record-breaking numbers of travelers. AAA predicts that increased auto and air travel may result in benefits beyond the holidays.

Nearly 43 million Americans are projected to travel this weekend. Marilyn Buskohl of AAA South Dakota expects the state to have a one percent increase over last year in holiday travel. She says this prediction is based on low gas prices, which are 40 cents lower in the state than last year.

Officials Taking Zika Precautions

May 9, 2016

South Dakota officials are keeping an eye out for the Zika virus this summer. The state’s epidemiologist says residents don’t have to worry about it at home, but should be mindful if they travel to some places.

 

Traveling across the state comes with perils and rewards. On today's Images of the Past, we glimpse inside the diary of Anna Gerard, who wrote about her unglamorous stagecoach ride to Deadwood in August of 1878.

Archivist Jessica Michak tells the story of lost hairpins, wine, and a journey best appreciated when it was finally over.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The Administrator of the TSA is using his time in Sioux Falls to better understand the needs of America’s smaller airports. The Transportation Safety Administration’s leader has been on the job for only a few months. He says he hopes to gain local perspective as he works to make air travel safer.

Sioux Falls Regional Airport’s executive director Dan Letellier takes a select few on a behind-the-scenes tour.

SD Boy Scouts Attend World Jamboree In Japan

Aug 14, 2015

This week a group of boy scouts from Huron is home after attending the 23rd World Jamboree in Japan. The eight scouts were the only troop from South Dakota who traveled to Asia. 

Cheering families meet their boy scouts at the Sioux Falls airport. It's hard not to miss the troop as each scout member is wearing a red and blue USA handkerchief. Assistant Scout Master Melissa Machtemes says preparations for this adventure started many months ago.

Patrick Dobson was a novice canoer when he launched his boat in Montana and began a journey down the Missouri River to Kansas City. A woman in Helena told him he was doomed. “That river’s gonna’ eat you,” she said. But Dobson had just finished a ten week walk to Montana from Kansas City and the Missouri was his way back home.

At the time of his journey in the summer of 1995, Dobson was tired of a dead-end job and feeling empty inside. His journey was a search for redemption and a way to help him reconnect with his life.

Dakota Midday: Summer Travel

May 21, 2015

With the summer travel season in clear sight, Wanda Goodman, Deputy Secretary with the South Dakota Department of Tourism, said last year's state tourism records are likely to be broken.  She shared last year's figures and visited about popular tourist attractions.

Meanwhile, Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy.com said fuel prices should remain steady in the mid-$2 range throughout the season.

In the 35 years since they were married, Rapid City couple Bruce Junek and Tass Thacker have traveled to some of the world’s most exotic places, usually on bicycle. They’ve biked across African deserts, through the Andes and in the Middle East. Altogether they’ve visited more than 53 countries.

Janine Stange

Two years ago Janine Stange set out on a mission to perform "The Star Spangled Banner" in every state. The Long Island native known as the National Anthem Girl is now in the home stretch with just six states left to go.

On Thursday she'll cross South Dakota off the map when she sings at the American Legion Division II Central Plain Regional Baseball Tournament in Milbank. As she has at other events, Stange will also invite people to sign thank you messages for military members and veterans.

Jesse Kagarise

When English travel writer Fraser Harrison first visited Yankton in May 2011, he wasn’t impressed. His guide book promised a "gem-like historic town," but he was instead disappointed by what seemed to be a rather moribund community.

Increasing The Tourism Travel In South Dakota

Mar 31, 2014

South Dakota Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen is one of 13 new additions to the federal Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The 32-member panel offers guidance to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on national tourism policy. It includes members from across the country, including representatives from public and private sectors. Hagen says he wants to ensure that travel industries in all states are considered in national strategy and policy. He says he looks forward to helping increase travel to and around the country.

Sustainable Tourism

Mar 27, 2014

Dr. Kelly Bricker, interim chair and associate professor at the University of Utah in the department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, is the keynote speaker at today's 16th Annual Black Hills Research Symposium on the Black Hills State University Campus.  Her talk is titled "Sustainable Tourism - A system for positive change?"

Nate Wek / SDPB

Tourism numbers in South Dakota continues to increase throughout the state. Governor Dennis Daugaard says this year saw a nearly three percent increase in economic impact because of tourism compared to 2012 numbers. Tourism increased despite  the spring Ice Storm in southeastern South Dakota along with the October blizzard in the western part of the state.

Governor Daugaard says 2013 tourism numbers are strong. He says the direct impact on the state's economy is nearly $2 Billion. The Governor gives credit to the citizens of the state.

The Sioux Falls Airport is busy today with an increasing amount of stranded travelers. Travelers wanting to leave on business, vacation or even to get back home are stuck because of the weather. Richard King is the Deputy Director for the Sioux Falls Airport. He says there are no exact numbers on the amount of people stranded but he says it could be in the range of two to three thousand. King says airports across the region are playing host to stranded travelers. 

National Weather Service

South Dakota residents aren't as cold as people in North Dakota and the northeast U.S., but conditions are still difficult in northeast South Dakota.  SDPB Radio's Gary Ellenbolt visits with Kelly Seer with the National Weather Service in Aberdeen about the day's weather, and the dangerous conditions setting up for the weekend:

Holiday Travelers Expected to See Stable Gas Prices

Dec 17, 2013

Holiday travelers are not expected to see a spike in gas prices over the next few weeks.  Marilyn Buskohl (BUSS-kil) with Triple-A South Dakota says the extended period of lower fuel costs is expected to continue.

Buskohl says,  "We’ll see gas prices right around where we’re at right now.  I don’t expect much fluctuation, at least in South Dakota.  You know, some states are quite a bit lower than South Dakota, but they’re all lower than they were last year.  Most of  them.”

Dropping Fuel Prices

Oct 29, 2013

Average retail gasoline prices in South Dakota have fallen 10.1 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.25 per gallon yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 628 gas outlets in the state.  The national average fell by 5.9 cents to an average of $3.30.  Gregg Laskoski, Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy.com, explained that last week saw new downward momentum in crude prices for the first time since early July.

"Travel As A Political Act"

Sep 23, 2013

Internationally known author, public television and radio host, and producer Rick Steves is discussing "Travel as a Political Act" tomorrow (9/24) at 7:30 p.m. in the Celebration Center of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. For years, Steves has used his popular travel shows on public television and the companion travel guides to make the world a smaller place. In 2009, Steves wrote the book, "Travel as a Political Act," starting with the premise that we can't begin to understand the world without experiencing it.

Labor Day Weekend Travel

Aug 29, 2013

Spokesperson Marilyn Buskohl of AAA South Dakota discussed Labor Day weekend travel projections.  AAA projects 73,500 South Dakotans will travel more than 50 miles from home over the upcoming Labor Day holiday, a 6.4% increase over last year.  Of those travelers, 89% are expected to be reaching their destination by private motor vehicle.  Nationwide, 34.1 million Americans will travel over this weekend as AAA is predicting a 4.2% increase over a year ago.  The anticipated increase in holiday travel is predominantly being credited to increased consumer spending and the recovering housing mar

The Race Continues

Apr 8, 2013

Former SDPB news producer Jenifer Jones discussed her latest work and experiences as she nears the end of her 11-month long mission trip that's taking her to 11 countries.  Since last summer, Jones has been to  India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.  She joined the program Monday via Skype from Riga, Latvia.

The 2013 March Madness Winter Storm

Mar 8, 2013

The Girls State Basketball tournaments are underway in cities on both sides of South Dakota.  The games come just in time for a winter storm.

Advisory:  You can check highway cameras to see the road conditions across the state here.  You can see a map of current road conditions in South Dakota here.

The winter storm that is being tracked is said to be in Southern South Dakota by daybreak. The heaviest amounts of snow are said to be in Northern Kansas and a large portion of Nebraska. South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Chris Laughery caught up with Brad Adams, a hydro-meteorological technician with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. He begins today’s Dakota Digest by telling us where this storm originated.

Weather Not Expected to Hinder Holiday Travel

Dec 18, 2012

South Dakota still hasn’t received large amounts of snow for being halfway through December, but areas near the Interstate-90 corridor received more than three inches of snow and the Vermillion-Yankton region saw freezing rain Tuesday morning. Meteorologist Todd Heitkamp with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says a storm system moving through Nebraska and Iowa will brush the southeastern corner Wednesday, but no other systems are expected until Christmas day.

Paging Through Turkey

Nov 14, 2012

The nation of Turkey has a centuries-old position as a crossroads of the world.  A series of workshops and travel opportunities for teaches begun in 2007 by the Turkish Cultural Foundation and the World Affairs Councils of America, with support from the South Dakota World Affairs Council, has led to greater understanding of the history and culture of Turkey.  Turkey's position as the crossroads of the world is the topic of a special program, "Paging Through Turkey," tonight at 7 p.m. at the H.M.