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Here's what Arkansans need to know before starting holiday travel

Over 51,000 people are expected to fly out of Little Rock during the Thanksgiving period, which runs from Nov. 18th-30th.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Friday is the beginning of the busiest time of the year for airports. Millions will hit the skies looking to spend quality time with friends and family.

They're ready for the rush at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, but there's still things to know if you're planning on hitting the skies. Vernitta Rush is one of those heeding the advice.

She's heading to St. Louis for a funeral, but plans on spending Thanksgiving with family.

"Really all over the world, mostly. I have been to Italy, France, Paris," Love said. "It's nothing like family, and family love. I am so excited."

Traveling is something Love does often, but many of us haven't been able to do the same throughout the pandemic. At Clinton National Airport, they saw just 46% of their pre-COVID numbers last year during the month of November.

"Last year was a quiet holiday period for us. We are expecting to be busier this year," Shane Carter, Clinton National Airport spokesperson, said.

Over 51,000 people are expected to fly out of Little Rock during the Thanksgiving period, which runs from Nov. 18th-30th. Carter said they've gotten closer to pre-pandemic numbers, but they're still not quite there.

"We've been running about 85% of our pre-COVID numbers, as you look at our passengers," Carter said.

Carter said as more people get back out and fly for the first time in a while, there's things to keep in mind.

"Your baggage, and what you can and can't bring," he said. "Especially around the holiday period, we see people traveling with unique items."

If what you have makes you second guess if it can make the flight, Carter said to check the TSA website. Things like firearms aren't allowed, unless approved by your airline or the TSA.

Along with that, arriving early can help, and make sure to bring a mask.

"Arrive at least an hour and a half early, so you won't miss your flight," Love said. "Because the airports are getting crowded."

As we head into the holiday season, Carter said there's something else to pack as well – patience.

It's a simple thing to have, and could stop you from being a Grinch this holiday season.

"We want people to get to their destination safely and have a great time and then return back safely," Carter said. "So help yourself out. Be prepared. Know what you can and can't bring to the airport. Get here early, and be kind."

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