Thanksgiving is almost upon us. But before we can dive face-first into turkey and pie, we have to face holiday travel. AAA estimates that 55.4 million people will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving dinner this year.

While the National Weather Service is forecasting a clear Thanksgiving Day in Maryland, there is supposed to be rain at peak travel times on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. WJZ reports parts of Maryland could see heavy rain and strong wind gusts, causing potential delays on the road and at local airports.

In order to help you navigate the weather and general holiday busyness, The Banner pulled together a few travel tips — whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile.

Avoid the worst holiday traffic on Maryland roads

If you’re hitting the road, the Maryland Transportation Authority has compiled a list of recommended times to drive to avoid the heaviest traffic.

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The CliffsNotes version? Whether you’re heading eastbound or westbound across the Bay Bridge, a good general rule of thumb is to leave before 9 a.m. most days or travel after 6 p.m. Same goes if you’re planning to travel on I-95 and through the Fort McHenry Tunnel.

Also, with impending rain, there won’t be two-way traffic at the Bay Bridge, which could add to potential traffic delays during rush hour.

Arrive early at BWI

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is anticipating a busy week. The weather, combined with a historically busy travel week, could cause flight delays.

BWI staff recommends travelers arrive two hours early for domestic travel and three hours early for international trips to allow for plenty of time for parking, checking in, and security.

BWI also warned in its Holiday Travel Guide that there will likely be airport shuttle delays due to staffing shortages. To reduce as much congestion as possible at the arrivals roadway, airport staff recommends using the upper level departures to pick up and drop passengers off or the nearby parking lot to wait for arriving passengers.

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Also — remember to pack smart. Dealing with oversized luggage or liquids in your carry-on can hold up check-in and security lanes alike.

When you’re headed home, the Transportation Security Administration says liquid rules apply to Thanksgiving leftovers and gravy.

Book Amtrak tickets in advance

In preparation for the holiday rush, Amtrak is adding extra train cars and services for Thanksgiving week.

Amtrak suggests booking tickets as soon as possible, as trains sell out quickly around the holiday. Amtrak Acela and Northeast Regional trains will operate at their full schedules, including added capacity and frequencies for Thanksgiving.

Brenna Smith is an investigative reporter for the Baltimore Banner.

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