BALTIMORE — Millions of Marylanders will be traveling over the holidays.

The TSA said it anticipates that this will be the busiest Thanksgiving travel period in several years. 

The Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Sunday after Thanksgiving, are expected to be the busiest days for travel. 

Marylanders are hustling and bustling through the holiday chaos at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, trying to beat the inevitable rush of travelers.

“I’m a little nervous but I feel like traveling today I’m a little bit ahead of the curve,” a traveler said. “My wife’s gonna come join us later and she’s going on Wednesday, and we’re both worried about that.”

On those days, TSA estimates that airports will see at least 5,000 more passengers than they would on a normal day. 

So, what can you do to ensure a smooth flying experience?  Here are some tips from the TSA: 

Arrive Early

Flyers are encouraged to arrive at least two hours before their flight if they are traveling domestically, and three hours early for those traveling internationally. 

Pack Smart!

Travelers are advised to start with an empty bag to avoid accidentally packing prohibited items by mistake. This helps prevent delays for both individuals, and other passengers in the security line.

So what can you bring? Solid food items like stuffing or baked goods are allowed in carry-on luggage. However, liquids like wine or gravy should be well-sealed and packed in checked luggage. A simple rule is if you can spread, read, or pour it, it should go in the checked bag.  

Sharp objects should be placed in a checked bag, except for disposable razors.  

If you want to see if a specific item is allowed, you can do a search on the TSA What Can I Bring? web page. 

Preparation in the Security Line

It’s recommended to have your boarding pass and ID ready when approaching the ticket document checking area to expedite the process.

Other Tips

The TSA offers a travel support system for passengers with questions or concerns.  

Travelers are encouraged to contact TSA 72 hours before their journey for any travel-related queries, particularly those concerning items they plan to carry.  

To make a travel inquiry, you can contact TSA Cares at (855) 787-2227, or send an email

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