Holiday travel numbers on the rise

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Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012 6:48 pm | Updated: 9:18 pm, Mon Dec 31, 2012.

SARASOTA - The holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and this year is no exception. Local airport officials say the number of people traveling is already picking up, and this trend isn't just here, but all across the country and on the roadways.

“This year it's going to be 93 million people traveling, so it's defiantly up from last year,” says Rosenda Calloway of AAA. And that number includes travelers all across the country who will be driving and flying.

And just like the national trend, officials say the state of Florida will see a record number of people on the go this holiday season. “What they are going to be doing is driving; 4.2 million people will be on the roads in Florida alone, so what they need to do is prepare,” says Calloway.

She says that preparation includes everything from giving yourselves extra time to make it to your destination to having your car serviced. “Go to your mechanic, make sure your tires are filled, and make sure engine is running smoothly to avoid any accidents or any mishaps while you’re traveling.”

But this year travel tips aren't just for those hitting the road. There also tips for those traveling by plane. “Check with your airline to make sure your flight is still on schedule, and don't wrap any of those Christmas gifts if you’re going to put them in your carry-on luggage, because if it's something they can’t make out by the security checkpoint, you’re going to have to unwrap that gift,” says Rick Piccolo, CEO of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

In addition, officials say to expect long lines at airline counter and security checkpoints, and to keep in mind what you can and cannot bring on the plane. “Be sure that liquid aerosols and gels are in very small quantities, below 3 ounces, so that when you have them in your carry on you put them in a separate plastic bag and you pull them out of your luggage. That will move you through faster,” says Piccolo.

Another thing airport officials want you to keep in mind is the weather, because while it is nice here, it may not be where you are going.

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