SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Holiday travel is taking off again from airports, train stations and garages.
As a plane took off, airline worker Karen Bowker said the day before Thanksgiving went great.
She said she loves to people watch around the holidays.
Traffic jams had a domino effect leaving people waiting a little longer to be picked up.
While waiting for her ride, active duty United States Coast Guard member Alani Gomez said she got a great deal on a flight to surprise her"Mamina" in Santa Maria.
"I'm traveling from Connecticut so I am visiting family now on a surprise trip for my grandmother," said Gomez, "She does not expect me to be coming so it has been awhile I am really family oriented so its a nice feeling. “
Airline worker Michele Mendoza offered a travel tip. He said his top tip to put Airtags on your bags. Fans of the tags say the electronic devices make good stocking stuffers.
Hassan Pixler who said he had to wait for a wheelchair during a layover said his number one tip is to stay hydrated.
AAA estimates a 1.5 percent increase over last year nearing pre-COVID levels.
If there were more flights available at airports, including the Santa Barbara Airport, those estimates may have surpassed records set before COVID became a well known word.
About 55 million Americans are already traveling. They hope to arrive in time for a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.
To avoid traffic, AAA recommends leaving before 8 a.m. on Wednesday or before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving day.
Heading home starts to get busy after 4 p.m. on Friday and all through the weekend.
Travel experts said most people will travel 50 miles or more.
It can be jammed on local roadways, but hopefully people are thankful just for the opportunity to enjoy a holiday with friends or family.
If things go well consider it practice for Christmas and other upcoming holidays.