By Kimberly Eiten

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More people than ever are heading out of town, including more than 2 million Marylanders, experts say.

Thursday night and Friday will be very busy for travelers as people start to head out for the holidays. Add to the mix local commuters and people doing last-minute holiday shopping, and the holiday travel season might not be so merry and bright.

Experts estimate a record-breaking number of Americans will make the holiday commute.

According to AAA, more than 97 million people are expected to hit the road, about 6 million will fly and nearly 4 million will take trains, buses and cruise ships.

For Phil Marks’ niece, that meant flying from Indianapolis to Baltimore, where his sleigh was waiting to drive her to Pennsylvania.

“As soon as she could get out of school, she said ‘I’m coming home,” Marks said. “So pick her up and head up to Lancaster.”

For those with miles to go, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Ragina Cooper Averella says to give yourself an early gift of extra time so you’re not dashing through the airport.

“Give yourself ample time. Make sure you’re there in time to go through the TSA screening and make sure you pack your patience,” Cooper Averella said.

Additional travel tips from AAA include avoiding major cities and rush hours, if you can, especially Thursday and Friday because those will be the two peak travel days.

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