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Houston travelers prepare for busy Memorial Day weekend

Houstonians are ready for summer travel, or at least we’d like to be!

SEE ALSO: Travel tips for 2024 if you’re planning an adventure!

Roads and airports are likely to be congested in the coming days as Americans head out on Memorial Day weekend getaways and the same will be true for returning home. In Houston the number of people passing through will exceed previous years

AAA predicts this will be the busiest early summer weekend in nearly 20 years, with 43.8 million people expected to travel at least 50 miles from home between Thursday and Monday. The Transportation Security Administration says up to 3 million could pass through airport checkpoints on Friday alone.

RELATED: Money-saving resources Houstonians should take advantage of when planning Memorial Day or a summer adventure

And that’s just a taste of what’s to come. U.S. airlines expect to carry a record number of passengers this summer. Its trade group estimates that 271 million travelers will fly between June 1 and August 31, breaking the record of 255 million set (you guessed it) last summer.

FURTHER: Remember last year’s Memorial Day travel jams? Chances are they will be much worse this year.

And there is a reason behind the increase. The bottom line is that airlines continue to add flights and destinations. KPRC 2 reporter TJ Parker spoke to some people who were starting their holiday trips Thursday morning and it seems like everyone at Hobby Airport thought they would be beating the crowds.

“There have been more people,” Patricia Martin said. “I realized that everyone has the same thing in mind: arriving early, so I stayed up late packing just to make sure I had everything.”

“You just have to have a lot of patience and know that everyone is trying to get to the same place and get to a destination, and you have to have a lot of patience,” said another traveler, Beth Turner.

Here are some tips if you are flying this weekend:

  • Reserve parking in advance; More passengers mean fewer places to park.

  • There is also construction going on at Bush Airport, although some of it will stop during the holidays, so they are asking people to arrive early by at least three hours.

  • Peak travel times are between 4 and 9 p.m.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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