WACO, Texas — This Thanksgiving marks the first time many Texans are traveling to see family and friends on the holiday since before the pandemic.
According to Texas AAA, nearly four million Texans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year. That's an increase of 12% from 2020.
Theresa Thompson of Waco is one of this year's travelers who wasn't able to spend Thanksgiving with her family last year.
"I have not seen them since before COVID," Thompson said. "My granddaughter came down the weekend we shut down, which was my birthday, and had to go back the next day because they shut it all down."
The increase in travel also means longer lines at airports and more traffic on the road.
"I had made it a practice not to be out on the road so much over the past year and a half, but this is enormous traffic," said Charles Ridley, who was traveling from College Station to the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Wednesday afternoon.
Waco travel agent Glenda Ruiz, owner of GTR Vacations, recommends getting to larger airports, like Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin-Bergstrom as early as three to four hours before your flight.
She also said to know travel restrictions for your destination and have any necessary paperwork ready to go before you get to the airport.
"Your time is very, very precious. So you need to know all of these things before you leave," Ruiz said.
Texas AAA recommends drivers leave at low-traffic times and allow plenty of time to get to their destination this week.