CONN. (WTNH) – Nearly 55 million people are expected to travel over Thanksgiving almost reaching pre-pandemic travel levels, according to AAA.

Experts are telling travelers to leave themselves extra travel time as AAA is expecting to see its third-highest volume of travelers since the year 2000.

Bradley International Airport was already busy Monday night and filled with travelers getting an early start on their holiday plans.

Bradley expects Thanksgiving travel to be near pre-pandemic levels

Fran Mayko Spokesperson of AAA said overall travel is back up to 98% of what it was pre-pandemic.

Mayko is telling travelers to pack early and also to pack their patience. “With relaxed restrictions, this is going to contribute to busy airports large crowds, and busy terminals,” said Mayko.

90% of Thanksgiving travelers will be on the roads this year with buses and trains only accounting for 2% of holiday travel.

“The best time to leave is in the early morning hours of November 23, or before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving day, “said Mayko.

News 8 spoke with travelers on Monday night, excited about their holiday travel plans.

“My mother is 84 years old and yes it’s worth the trip, absolutely. I come to see her at 84 and she loves it.”

Another way some Connecticut families are planning on beating the holiday traffic is by hosting Thanksgiving at their own homes.

“We’re staying home, we live in New Britain. My wife hosts every year, the doors always open,” said Marco Ocasio.