Thanksgiving travel takeaways: Give yourself time and be aware of road conditions

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year, whether it be by land or by air.

"Really, this is the busiest travel weekend of the year for us," Richard McConnell, the Deputy Executive Director of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, said.

Wednesday, travelers packed up and headed out for the holiday.

"It's looking like every seat is filled in and out of here," McConnell said.

He also noticed travelers were arriving earlier and appeared to be more relaxed Wednesday.

"The airport in Pittsburgh was quite accommodating. The security lines were very quick," flyer Matthew Hoffman said.

From the sky to the asphalt, drivers may have some more obstacles to be aware of this holiday season.

"Well, we've estimated there's over 15 million cubic yards of debris that were of the consequence of Hurricane Michael," Ian Satter, Spokesperson of the Florida Department of Transportation, said.

Cleanup is underway, but the work isn't anywhere near done.

"We've picked up roughly 4.5 million cubic yards. We've got a lot more to go," Satter explained.

Debris isn't the only issue drivers need to be aware of.

"With the uptick in traffic caused by Hurricane Michael, the debris near the roadways, road signs that have been compromised, as well as the amount of traffic you normally see during the holiday season give yourself extra time to be able to get where you're going this year," Satter advised.

After an eventful year, especially after Hurricane Michael, safe travels are another thing to be thankful for.