DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – These are some of the busiest travel days of the year, as North Texans hit the road and take to the skies for the Thanksgiving holiday. But even with the crowds, there are some helpful hints that you can follow to make the journey easier.
Parking and security tend to cause the most stress for travelers. Dallas Love Field was quiet on Tuesday, but officials expect to see things really ramp up on Wednesday. Meanwhile, at DFW International Airport, the morning hours are expected to be the most hectic on Wednesday, waning in the afternoon before picking up again in the early evening.
Wednesday and Sunday will be the busiest travel days this week.
So, how can you stay ahead of the rush? It’s simple — with just a little bit of planning.
Arrange your trip to the airport in advance. If you are not using an Uber or having someone else drop you off, be sure that you know what route to take, where you plan to park, and how to reach the airport after you’ve left your car. For example, Dallas Love Field has three different parking options, ranging from $6.00 to $18.00 per day.
As for getting through security as quickly as possible, make sure that you check over the list of what is and is not allowed to be in your carry-on luggage. Pack appropriately. That will avoid slowing down the security line.
Of course, the best suggestion is to arrive at the airport very early. “We recommend 90 minutes to two hours,” said Chris Perry with Dallas Love Field. “There are other factors that will add to that — if you need to find parking, there’s road construction around the airport that could slow you down.”
It is always a good idea to check with your airline, too, to make sure that the departure or arrival times have not changed.
“It’s actually been pretty nice,” said traveler Theodor Sowell on Tuesday. “Last year was a mad house, busy and backed up, but this time we showed up two and a half hours early, and now it’s empty.”
Joanie Keyes and her family woke up at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning to get out before the crowds. “Everything was ready and packed, no stress, ready to roll,” she said. Keyes would rather brave the airport’s security lines than fight for items at the grocery store.
The Keyes family is heading to Mexico. “We are going to have Thanksgiving on the beach, so no stressful Thanksgiving,” Keyes said. Even their family time is planned out to bypass the traditional holiday stressors. “It’ll be fun just relaxing on the beach. Might be in a bathing suit,” Keyes said.
AAA expects a record number of people to be traveling for Thanksgiving — around 50 million people in the United States will be going 50 miles of further. Dallas Love Field expects 18,000 travelers each day, compared to about 15,000 each day. If you are traveling, be sure to pack your patience.