Holiday travel is stressful enough. But your stress-o-meter will fly off the charts when airport security officers unwrap your presents, because, if you try to take them on board, they will.

And take precautions not to get “hangry” at the airport or train station.

Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and most everyone wants to share it with family and friends via plane, train, automobile or bus. But the two-week Christmas/New Year’s Day holiday period – which falls on different days every year –  is a rare bird when it comes to planning and avoiding travel pitfalls.

Thanksgiving week is always busy, and the Wednesday before is always the busiest travel day of the year. Summertime means people are traveling for three months. Those constants get thrown out of the window during late December and early January.

Many will travel throughout Alabama by car. Expect heavy traffic in areas and keep an eye on the weather. (Getty Images)

“The end-of-year holiday season is very spread out nowadays” with regards to car travel, said Clay Ingram, AAA Alabama’s public relations and marketing manager.

“While we may see an uptick in customers during this two-week period, the increase wouldn’t be the same as peak travel periods such as in the summer or Thanksgiving,” said Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods. The daily Crescent passenger train stops in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Anniston between New Orleans and New York City.

Ingram expects the two busiest car travel days to be the two Saturdays before Christmas and New Year’s Day, which fall on Mondays.

“Tuesday, Jan. 2 will likely be pretty busy as well,” Ingram said.

At the airport, the biggest problem may not be long lines, but having your presents unceremoniously unwrapped.

“We recommend do not travel with wrapped Christmas presents, since TSA (Transportation Security Administration) will have to unwrap them to go through security,” said Brian Belcher, director of marketing and air service development at the Mobile Airport Authority.

Those wanting to avoid airports and driving may opt to travel by train over the holidays. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Belcher expects the busiest air travel days out of Mobile Regional will be Thursday to Saturday Dec. 21-23 for Christmas and Saturday and Sunday Dec. 29-30 for New Year’s Day.

Concurring is Mark Wnuk, an executive assistant with the Montgomery Regional Airport, although he said Dec. 28-29 will be the busiest pre-New Year’s travel days in the capital city.

Concurring is Mark Wnuk, an executive assistant with the Montgomery Regional Airport, although he said Dec. 28-29 will be the busiest pre-New Year’s travel days in the capital city.

This story via Gilbert Nicholson from Alabama NewsCenter.

 

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