As the Fourth of July holiday sparks to life, millions are expected to pack the roads or head to the airports. 

AAA projects more than 2.4 million Floridians are planning to drive and another 219,000 are expected to fly, marking an 87,000 increase from the previous year’s record.

“Here in Florida, we’re expecting to set new records with a record number of drivers, air passengers and people who are taking other modes of transportation, whether that’s cruising, taking a bus or a train,” AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins said.

However, with record numbers comes record congestion. Travelers should anticipate crowded roadways and long security checkpoint lines at airports.

“You certainly want to leave in the morning or in the evening hours if you’re driving. If you’re headed to the airport, definitely want to arrive at least two hours before your flight,” Jenkins advised.

AAA also anticipates rescuing around 393,000 stranded drivers due to common mishaps like flat tires, dead batteries, or being locked out of cars. Jenkins strongly encourages a full vehicle inspection before hitting the road, to avoid spending the holiday on the roadside.

For those planning to take to the skies, reaching your airline’s customer service can sometimes be a challenge. Traditional methods like bypassing automated phone menus by saying “agent” might actually prolong your call.

Instead, The Points Guy recommends briefly stating the reason for your call to get in the right queue. If uncertain, try saying “existing reservation.” Keying in your frequent flyer number when prompted may expedite the process, especially for high-tier loyalty members.

David Slotnick, a senior aviation business reporter at The Points Guy, suggests alternative methods.

“If there’s a wait, a lot of the time, you can get online and have the airline call you back,” he said. “That’s a lot nicer than having to stay on hold. And then while you’re waiting for that callback, using an airline’s app is a major advantage.”

The app allows you to manage and change your booking or find different flights.

Keeping up with alerts on your flight status is also crucial.

“Always make sure to sign up for the alerts in your app or with your ticket. You can get texts, emails, that kind of thing, and then just load up your reservation in the app,” Slotnick said.

In case of flight delays or cancellations, instant alerts can help you swiftly start making necessary arrangements. Keeping your phone charged or carrying a portable charger is highly recommended.

Despite any delays, the experts insist on being at the airport on time for the original departure. It’s better to spend extra time at the airport rather than risk missing your flight if the delay time gets reduced or the flight is back on time.