MISSOULA — Although it's not even Halloween yet, holiday travel is coming up quickly.
With the holidays right around the corner and travel picking up throughout the U.S., airports are expecting to see an increase in the number of people departing and arriving.
It is estimated that way more people will be traveling during the holidays this year as the world comes out of COVID-19 shutdowns.
As the travel industry is rebounding, if you are planning on traveling you can expect the Missoula airport to be busy, but not as busy as a summer day.
“On a peak summer day we're probably in that 2,000 to 2,200 per day, departing," said Brian Ellestad, Missoula International Airport director. "Right now we're in that 1,000, 1,200 range. So for Christmas, we're probably somewhere in that 1,200 to 1,500 range per day."
Although the summertime is the busiest time to travel here in Missoula, the airport says they can still expect to see an increased number of people traveling during the holiday season, so it's best to make sure that you get there early and be prepared for those lines.
“Be patient, get here a little bit earlier, and just enjoy instead of rushing at the last minute. Just get here, take your time, get through security and then just be at your gate,” said Ellestad.
Masks are still mandatory in the airport and on airplanes. At the Missoula airport, if you forget your mask, they have some available. COVID-19 precautions such as social distancing are still recommended despite vaccine status.
Another important thing to keep in mind before traveling is rental cars and hotels. If needed, make sure to make those reservations early enough, before prices rise, as they are expected to after Halloween.