BEND, OR -- A record number of holiday travelers are expected to leave home over the next week. "It is going to be very, very busy no matter how you travel. If you drive, expect a lot of other of folks on the roadways; if you fly, expect airports to be jam-packed. This is the first time ever that AAA has projected more than 100 million traveling for a holiday." Marie Dodds, with Triple-A Oregon, tells KBND News, "For the Christmas and New Years holiday, we’re looking at 100.5 million Americans nationwide, this is up about 1.5% compared to last year. And, here in Oregon, we’re looking at around 1.2 million Oregonians traveling for Christmas and New Years."
Dodds says, "Clearly the lower gas prices are encouraging folks to get out there and travel." Prices are about 30-cents a gallon lower than this time last year. She says that's adding to consumer confidence and encouraging families to leave home.
If you're traveling by air, Michael Irwin with the TSA in Portland says you should arrive at the airport at least two-hours in advance. Frequent travelers can save time by signing up for pre-check; it costs money, but he says it can be worth it.
And, remember, gels and liquids over 3.5 ounces must be in plastic bags and taken out of carry-on bags at security check-points. If you're packing gifts, don't wrap them. Security officials will need to check them, as well.