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How to get ready if you're flying, driving somewhere for Christmas

Posted: 11:58 AM, Dec 23, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-23 19:06:25Z

HEBRON, Ky. -- Comforted by a strong economy, more Americans than ever are expected to travel over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

Fifteen percent more passengers have gone through the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport this holiday season compared to last year. Nationwide, more than 6 million people are expected to travel by plane, AAA reported.

While the national average gas price of $2.47 is 28 cents higher than last December, airfares and mid-range hotels are cheaper.

Overall, 107 million people will travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 1, a 3.1 percent increase over last year. It's the ninth straight increase in Christmas travel, according to AAA.

Most -- about 97 million -- will travel by car, despite those higher gas prices. Nearly 4 million will take trains, buses or cruise ships.

CVG's tips for flying:

  • Check your flight status before you get to the airport. You can look it up by airline or flight number on the airport's website .
  • Arrive early. The Transportation Security Administration recommends arriving two hours before your flight leaves for domestic travel, and three hours for international travel.
  • Know what's allowed through security screening. Check this official list of permitted items .
  • Don't wrap gifts. Security agents might need to check inside the package, meaning they could have to unwrap the items.

AAA tips for road trips:

  • Get a preventative maintenance check: Go to a trusted mechanic and have your vehicle battery, tires and fluids checked prior to hitting the road. AAA offers free preventative maintenance checks at all AAA Bob Sumerel Tire and Auto locations. You do not have to be a member.
  • Map your route: Travel projections in high areas can mean more time on the road and possibly in traffic.
  • Fill up: Temperatures may be colder in destination cities. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up. It is also important to have enough gas if you are stuck in traffic.
  • Have an emergency kit: Pack an emergency kit containing a snow shovel, flashlight, ice scraper, jumper cables, warning devices, fully charged cell phone, non-perishable snacks, bottled water and extra warm clothing for everyone riding in the vehicle.
  • Safety first: Every passenger in the vehicle should be wearing a seatbelt or properly restrained in a car or booster seat, including pets. Never drive if you are feeling drowsy and be alert for impaired drivers.

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