Mid-Southerners prepare for Memorial Day weekend travel

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Another travel season is here in the Mid-South. Thousands are getting ready to either hit the skies or the roads this Memorial Day weekend. If you’re planning on flying, you’ll be joining about 45,000 other travelers. Glen Thomas, Spokesman for Memphis International Airport, told FOX13 they are preparing for a busy travel weekend.

“This is a time when kids are out of school, people are going on vacation. We can expect things to be busy for the foreseeable future,” said Thomas.

For travelers planning to fly, it’s advised to arrive at the airport 2 hours before departure. That ensures travelers have enough time to find parking, check-in with their respective airlines, and make it through the TSA checkpoint. Thomas tells FOX13 that flyers need to make sure they double check the TSA prohibited items list on the TSA website. Any prohibited items left in carryon bags could delay passengers from making their flights.

“You can miss your flight, you can also be cited. Make sure you know what’s in your bags before you go through the checkpoint,” said Thomas.

Peak travel time for flying this Memorial Day weekend is expected to be Thursday, May 26th and Friday May 27th. Memphis International Airport sees the most travelers between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. If you haven’t traveled in a while, passengers will be able to enjoy the new concourse and Memphis International. Thomas told FOX13 the new concourse has simplified the flying experience for passengers.

“We’re only operating on one concourse so, you’ll go straight through the checkpoint and you’ll go to your gate from there. We’ve got a lot of new restaurants, a lot of new amenities for passengers,” said Thomas.

Many people are also expected to travel by road this Memorial Day weekend. AAA expects this Memorial Day weekend to be one of the busiest travel weekends with 39.2 million people traveling. In Tennessee, about 600,000 travelers are expected to reach their destinations by driving. The top of mind for a lot of drivers are the record breaking gas prices. Megan Cooper, Spokeswoman for AAA, tells FOX13 the first place drivers should look for to save at the pump is their own car.

“If you’re taking a road trip, one of the easiest places to start is your vehicle. You want make sure not only for safety, but for fuel efficiency that your car is up to date with maintenance,” said Cooper.

That means getting the oil changed, checking to make sure all other fluids are full, checking the tire tread and tire pressure. Cooper also advised that drivers plan ahead and map out their routes before leaving. That way, drivers are less likely to get lost or off track, saving some gas. Cooper also suggest bringing your snacks and drinks instead of buying them at the gas station to save some money.

“It’s easy to pick those up at a gas station, but keep in mind your paying for convenience, so if you’re taking a long road trip, go ahead and have some of those favorites with you,” said Cooper.

When thinking about filling up your car, Cooper suggested looking ahead at gas stations that have a fuel rewards program.

“Great thing about fuel rewards programs is they let you save every time you fill up. You’re getting the best bang for you buck and helping that dollar go a little further,” said Cooper.

Cooper also told FOX13 that drivers should avoid traveling during peak rush hour traffic times.

“In those rush hour scenarios, you’re sitting, you’re waiting, you’re wasting that gas, but you’re also not going anywhere, so you’re wasting time as well,” said Cooper.

You can go to AAA website for more information on how to save at the pump as well as figuring out the best time of day to travel.