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How to travel safely this holiday season

The Transportation Security Administration said if your flight departs around 6 or 7 a.m., you will see the longest lines at the airport.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Residents near and far are hitting the road this holiday season, taking part in what experts are calling, “revenge travel.” 

Many are fed up with being cooped up and want to make up for their lack of travel during the pandemic this holiday season.

The Transportation Security Administration said throughout the year they typically screen 2 million travelers each day, but during the holidays, they expect to see up to 2.9 million travelers each day.

So, how do you beat the crowds and longer wait times? 

Sarah McQuaide, spokesperson for Columbus Airports advises arriving early, at least 90 minutes prior for domestic flights and at least two hours for international flights.

TSA warns that if you have a flight that departs around 6 or 7 a.m., you will see the longest lines at the airport.

“Another great tip would be to travel smart. Download your airline's mobile app to check in, download a mobile boarding pass and get status updates for your flights,” said McQuaide.

For more tips on how to track your travel, go to flycolumbus.com.

Parking at the airport can get busy too, but when it comes to traveling to the airport, parking there may be more affordable than car services. The Columbus airport also has a new detailing service at the garages that allow visitors to get their car cleaned while they’re traveling.

Planning to travel by car? Here are some tips on how to stay safe.

Whether you’re going across the state, or to the next town, the Ohio State Highway Patrol suggested following the three P’s, “Planning, preparation and patience.”

“Making sure your vehicle's fully equipped, all the fluids are topped off, your windshield wipers work, your lights work, that your vehicle's equipped for long travel,” said OSHP Sergeant Tyler Ross.

It is also suggested that travelers avoid peak times and plan for variables on the road.

"Make sure that you are giving yourself enough time to adjust to a crash or inclement weather, make sure you are giving yourself enough time to get to and from your destination,” said Ross.

Most importantly, the experts say to have patience and don’t drive distracted.

"Pay attention to the roadways ahead of you, don't follow the vehicle in front of you too close and give yourself enough time to react to the vehicle or crashes or work zones ahead of you,” said Ross.

According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, most work zones have wrapped up for the year, but there are still some crews on the road.

"We're working to reduce the number of barrels and reduce the number of barrels and open up as many lanes as possible through those work zones knowing that we're going to have all that extra traffic,” said Matt Bruning, spokesperson for ODOT.

There will be more troopers on the road ahead of the holidays and they are anticipating more drivers to have been drinking the day before Thanksgiving.

“Just make sure you designate a sober driver, use a ride-share program if you can, or stay the night if that's an option,” said Ross.

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