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What you should know about holiday travel

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport is gearing up for another busy holiday travel season. Travelers like Letitia Fox-Varshavsky say flying into Gulfport is always a pleasure.

"I flew from Houston to Gulfport, not a problem. It was smooth and it was wonderful. We're just excited to be here," said Varshavsky.

With Thanksgiving just a few short days away, flights are picking up at the airport. But Airport Director Clay Williams has some advice for holiday travelers.

"We do encourage people, with it being such a busy time of year, to call ahead to their airlines. Much of the country is experiencing inclement weather right now. I really encourage people to call their airline to check the status of their flight," said Williams.

According to AAA.com, approximately 43.4 million Americans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving, but that number has actually decreased from last year.

"Of those that are flying, it's down about 3.7 percent from last year. According to their statistics, they expect 3.14 million people to fly this year," said Williams.     

Even though air travel is down from last year, 43 million is still a pretty big number. And depending on which day you travel, you may run into busier airports.

But even the smallest travelers have some words of wisdom. Nine-year-old Wells told us, "When it's a lot of people, I sometimes can't find my grandmother when she is looking for me, so I always try to hold my Grandma's hand."

No matter your age, it's important to keep flying safe, but that doesn't mean it has to be a stressful experience.

"I just saw a sign that said, 'Relax, you're on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.' To me, the holidays are just about not getting overly stressed, because you know that can happen. Just enjoy it, and just remember this is a special time to be with your friends and family," said Varshavsky.

Airport travel is expected to pick up on Wednesday and Sunday when most people are flying back home.

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