What you need to know before traveling on one of the busiest holidays of the year

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Traffic congestion is expected to pick up significantly Thursday afternoon before the Memorial Day weekend.

It is the busiest day to drive and fly ahead of the holiday.

If you want to avoid the gridlock -- the best time to leave is as early as possible because you’re most likely going to run into some congestion on the roads later in the day.

AAA predicts nearly 2.2 million Floridians will travel this memorial day weekend, which is more than an 8% increase over last year.

John Biggerstaff is not one of them. He and his wife are opting for a staycation, nixing their original plan to drive nearly three hours down to Fort Pierce.

“With the rising price of gas, and both of us looking for work, it has been a challenge really, Biggerstaff said. “We just decided to stay home and get some sunburn in Jax Beach instead.”

Researchers say drivers will run into the longest delays during the afternoons Thursday and Friday.

AAA suggests drivers leave after 9 p.m. to avoid waiting in traffic.

If you’re planning to fly out of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority advises travelers to arrive at Jacksonville International Airport at least two hours prior to departure to give you time to find parking, check bags and get through security.

JAA says travelers may experience longer lines and wait times this holiday weekend.

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