Tips for the holiday travelers

98.6 million expected to drive or fly for the holidays, according to AAA


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's a big week for traveling as many people hit the highway for the holidays. The Florida Department of Transportation has some tips to keep you safe and make your trip a little easier.

It is predicted we will see the most holiday travelers since AAA started keeping track in 2001. Whether you're driving or flying, the key is allow extra time!

98.6 million people are expected to drive or fly over the next couple weeks. That's up 4% from last year.

With the lowest gas prices in four years, 91% will be on the road. But air travel is also slightly up.

Mark Montgomery just flew 18 hours from China.

"Ton of people already getting ready for the holidays. Everyone's out and traveling so my flight was delayed a couple times," said Montgomery.

Gary Moore just arrived in Jacksonville after fighting traffic from West Virginia.

"Very bad and everything. It was bad. Real bad," said Moore.

Florida Department of Transportation's Gina Busscher said before before you hit the highway, call 511 to see if any roads are blocked.

"They are able to get that information and put it out in that format so that people will know that they're going to be delayed, and they can take another route if possible," said Busscher. "It's going to be bad weather for the next couple of days I'm understanding, and people just need to have patience and prepare to be delayed."

The good news is you shouldn't be delayed by any construction projects.

"We have very few contractors working this week because it's a short week anyway for them. They're not allowed to work anytime between Wednesday and they won't be coming back until January 5th. So at least people will not have to worry about construction projects," siad Busscher.

If you plan on flying, TSA allows wrapped presents, but reserves the right to unwrap any packages and subject them to further scanning or inspection. Which can make lines slower and longer.

But for many travelers it's worth it to be with loved ones for the holidays.

"Coming from China, it's been a while since I've been home for Christmas so it's just nice to be with family and friends," said Montgomery.

WAZE is a helpful app that has a map and can get you through problem areas.

Also before you head out on the road, check your tire pressure.  For every ten degrees the temperature drops, your tires can lose about one pound per square inch.

Remember to turn on your headlights in any bad weather.

And keep an emergency roadside kit in your car, including a flashlight, a spare phone charger, a dog leash or kitty litter if needed, and some food and water.