(NEXSTAR) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year, at least for those of us who aren’t stuck in line at a TSA checkpoint.
With the holidays just around the corner, the Transportation Security Administration is expecting some of the busiest travel days of the season in the coming weeks. Specifically, the TSA anticipates Wednesday, Dec. 22, and Thursday, Dec. 23, to be the busiest pre-holiday dates for national and local travel, while Sunday, Jan. 2, and Monday, Jan. 3, are anticipated to be the busiest days for post-holiday travel.
However, a representative for the agency said passengers should expect “sustained high travel volumes” through the end of the year.
“The underlying message for travelers is to arrive early and prepared,” TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers tells Nexstar.
To avoid unnecessary delays, the TSA is urging passengers to be mindful of the current COVID-19 health and safety protocols, including a requirement for all travelers to wear masks at TSA checkpoints.
Among the TSA’s other holiday tips, travelers are advised to do the following: Pack smart by refraining from packing prohibited items or overstuffing luggage; know how to travel with holiday food and drink; packing unwrapped gifts in gift bags to prevent the risk of TSA officers having to unwrap presents during screening; and download the MyTSA app for security information and live support.
The TSA’s latest travel projections come shortly after the TSA recorded its highest passenger-throughput volume since the beginning of the pandemic, recording a total of 2,451,300 individuals screened on Sunday, Nov. 28, just after Thanksgiving weekend.