Millions Expected To Travel For Thanksgiving - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Millions Expected To Travel For Thanksgiving

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It's the holiday season, so for many that means packing your bags and heading home. Nearly 44 million people are expected to be traveling this week. Most will be hitting the road to get home, about 39.1 million people. As for those traveling by air, about 3.1 million will be flying to get home for Thanksgiving. 

For those taking to the skies, airport officials recommend getting here early and packing smart to help move the long lines a bit faster. 

"You can expect increased line waits, but if travelers make sure they arrive an hour and a half prior to departure, they'll have time to check in at the ticket counters and make it through the security screening process in time for their flight," Federal Security Director David Dailey says. 

"Often travelers like to bring food gifts to their relatives during the holidays," Dailey adds, "Jams, jellies, things like that, should be placed into their checked baggage if they're larger than three ounces." 

If you're bringing gifts, make sure you don't wrap them until you get where you're going. TSA officials will be screening everything and may need to open them up. 

While some will be standing in line at the airport, thousands more will be hitting the roadways to get home. 

"This is one of the busiest traveling holiday weekends we are going to be seeing on the roadways, and with the weather being so nice, we can probably expect a little bit more of a bump," Trooper Jason Wilson of Illinois State Police says. 

Extra patrols will be on the lookout for drunk and distracted drivers. Police say Thanksgiving weekend is too often one of the deadliest holidays on the road. Last year in Illinois, eight people died and 839 were injured in car crashes over the weekend. Of the eight that died, half were killed in crashes that involved alcohol. 

In Iowa, 180 were injured and four people died.  

"Most of the time it's a preventable crash, if not the crash itself, then the fatality because they could've been going slower, they could've been wearing their seatbelt," Wilson says. 

Police want to make sure people buckle up, slow down, put the phones away, and don't drink and drive for a safe holiday weekend.  

"The people on the roadways have to make choices for themselves; we can't make choices for them," Wilson says.