TAMPA (FOX 13) - From gridlocked traffic in L.A. to jam-packed skies over New York, Thanksgiving travel officially began Tuesday, but Wednesday will be the real test of the nation’s collective nerves.
A possible record-breaking 50 million people are expected to hit the roads and skies for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Whether you're heading to grandma’s house or somewhere else for Thanksgiving, here’s what you need to know to make your trip as smooth as possible.
The first bit of advice from AAA is to get there early. Lines will be long. Traffic will be slow. Give yourself plenty of time to get through security or past any roadblocks.
In the sunshine state, road travel is expected to be up from last year about five percent.
"We’re actually anticipating the most travelers since the economic downturn," AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins told FOX 13 News.
Most folks will be on the roadways, so expect congestion and try to avoid major metro areas during rush hour.
One thing to be thankful for is gas prices; they’re lower in the Bay Area than the last two Thanksgiving holiday weekends.
"We’ve seen really steady declines in prices at the pump, we’re talking like 50 cents in the last 53 days, and in fact were looking at the lowest prices for Thanksgiving in about 2 years," Jenkins said.
In the airport, even seasoned fliers may have questions about what can go through the TSA checkpoint and what needs to be in checked baggage.
Online, travelers had lots of turkey-day questions for TSA, which manages an Instagram account that can help remind travelers what’s OK and what’s not.
Many wondered how to transport their favorite dishes, ingredients, or leftovers for the holiday.
"If you can pop it, pour it, spray it, or spread it, the rule of thumb is to put it in your checked bag, but if it’s something you can take a bite out of, solid food, you're gonna be okay to take it on your carry-on," Howell said.
At Tampa International Airport, workers are gearing up for what is expected to be their busiest holiday travel season on record - a nearly 10 percent jump from 2017.
Give yourself extra time for everything from the curb to the gate.
"We're asking passengers to get to the airport two hours before their scheduled departure time, three hours if you’re flying internationally," TSA regional spokesperson Mark Howell said.
Experts say the best way to avoid the rush is to actually travel on Thanksgiving day.
The roads and airports will also be jammed this Sunday, so make sure you give yourself extra travel time.