Pack your patience, arrive early for Thanksgiving travel


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Thousands of Hawaii residents are expected to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend. Even more will arrive in the islands.

When it comes to traveling this holiday season, be proactive and arrive early. The Department of Transportation is predicting a busy week and preparing ahead of time will help make the experience less stressful.

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Tis the season to travel.

“My son is in New Hampshire,” Julianne Pruitt, Honolulu resident. “I’m visiting my son for the holidays.”

“I’m traveling to Boston to visit my sister in the mainland for Thanksgiving of course,” Kekaneliimaikalani, Honolulu resident.

The days leading up to Thanksgiving are historically some of the busiest travel days of the year, and this year is no different.

“There’s a lot more crowds,” Kekaneliimaikalani said. “It’s crazy. It’s getting a lot bigger lines, a lot longer lines now. So it’s a little crazy I feel like.”

If you plan to catch a flight this week pack your patience and arrive early.

“Get here at least a few hours before your flight, and that’s even if you’re taking a neighbor island flight,” said Jai Cunningham, Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesperson.

There are around 5,000 parking stalls at Daniel K Inouye International Airport but it can fill up. Getting dropped off can make it easier.

Having your ticket and ID ready can speed things up going through TSA, and pack carry on accordingly.

“My sister wanted some cookies from back home so I got her some Cookie Corner,” Kekaneliimaikalani said. “I got some L&L and some chicken musubi for the flight and stuff.”

Most non-liquid foods are allowed in carry on luggage. Just remember they need to be removed from your carry-on bag to be screened separately.

For those who haven’t traveled since the pandemic started, make sure you have your Safe Travels requirements.

“You need to open a travel account, enter your trip details and upload your proof of vaccination,” said Sheri Kajiwara, Safe Travels administrator.

A negative test within 72 hours of departure is still required to avoid mandatory quarantine when you return to Hawaii if you’re unvaccinated

You need to do a health check.

Sheri Kajiwara, Safe Travels administrator said, “24 hours before you fly that’s when you must do your health questionnaire. Once you answer that you’ll be emailed a QR code. That QR code is what will be showed when you land.”

The information is checked upon arrival.

All major airlines offer pre-screening at the point of departure to prevent long lines upon arrival.

Check out what’s going on around the nation on our National News page

According to AAA, around 4.2 million Americans will fly this holiday. Honolulu and Maui are both top 10 destinations. It’s definitely a sign that people are eager to return to normal and feeling more comfortable as vaccination rates continue to increase.

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