NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Travelers are being urged to pack extra time and patience as millions of Americans rush to be with loved ones this holiday weekend.
AAA presidents 103 million Americans will be traveling between Friday and January 2.READ MORE: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrated At Brooklyn Academy Of Music
“On average about 25 percent more people will be flying during the Christmas weekend and during the week than any time of the year, I think the only one that’s higher is Thanksgiving,” travel expert Pete Trabucco.
After stormy weather delayed flights on the West Coast earlier this week, passengers nationwide may see some gridlock, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
For those getting a head start on the holiday Thursday night, the departure board at LaGuardia Airport read mostly on time, Bauman reported. The same was true Friday morning.
Travel experts say the busiest time to fly is midday and recommend arriving at least an hour before your flight to leave time for TSA security.
“You probably want to make sure that you get everybody packed and ready to go, make sure all your liquids are in a bag and that everything is set up, your shoes are off, your belt is off,” Trabucco said.
Holiday traveler Kathy Berger arrived at Newark Liberty Airport about two hours ahead of her scheduled flight to Cincinnati.
“We definitely came early,” she said. “We wanted to make sure we had lots of time. But everything is going really smoothly. So far, so good.”READ MORE: Yonkers Police Officer Injured After Altercation With Armed Suspect
Aside from lots of people and long lines, there were no major problems at LaGuardia Airport early Friday morning, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
“The baggage line is slow but it’s normal so far,” said one woman headed to Florida with her 4-year-old daughter.
For a smoother ride, travelers are advised to check the flight status before leaving for the airport, call the airline if you think you’ll miss a connecting flight and be kind to the people behind the counter.
Security is top of mind after the recent attack on the Christmas market in Berlin, but many travelers say protection at area airports is visible.
“I think there is enough security everywhere to prevent anything,” one traveler said.
But the terminals are just the bookends to the holiday trip, staying safe and healthy in between can be challenging as well.
A new national survey by Orlando Health finds 1 out of 4 Americans had their vacation interrupted by an emergency room visit.
“If you’re ill or sick before you leave and you wouldn’t go to work that day, you probably shouldn’t go on your vacation that day as well,” said Dr. Stephen Corbett, a family practice physician.
Experts recommend always putting your medicine in a carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost.
If you’re going out of the country, buy traveler’s insurance. Medicare and some private plans are no good outside of the United States.MORE NEWS: Driver Being Questioned After 15-Year-Old Girl Struck, Killed By School Bus In Brooklyn Hit-And-Run
Also, pace yourself — drinking too much or eating too many new foods is another way to wind up in the ER. And if you’re heading to a sunny destination, don’t forget to pack sunscreen. It may be winter, but the sun is still strong in Florida and the islands.