HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year.

AAA expects four and a half million people to fly to their Thanksgiving destinations. And at Bradley International Airport, Connecticut residents are eager to get on their flights.

Bradley and other airports across the country feel back to normal, and the numbers from AAA are back up. AAA’s prediction is that air travel is back to 98% of what it was before the pandemic.

While it sounds nice to be normal again, you do remember what normal means in terms of traveling on the week of Thanksgiving. Airports have been jammed for days, Wednesday and the Sunday following the holiday are traditionally the busiest travel days of the year.

The good news is if you’re an early bird, you have a chance of beating the crowds.

“The best time to leave is in the early morning hours of November 23, or before 11 AM on Thanksgiving day,” said Fran Mayko from AAA.

Mayko is talking about the 89% of travelers who plan to drive to their holiday destinations. AAA said that almost 49 million Americans are expected to drive more than 50 miles before Thanksgiving. That’s a bit higher than the average last year.

Travel on buses, trains, and cruise ships is up to 23% according to AAA. To help with the spike, the Metro-North railroad (MTA) is putting extra trains on Metro-North on Wednesday afternoon.

Its advice to everyone: be patient.

Everyone wanted things to get back to normal after the pandemic. Normal is long lines at airports and traffic jams on the day before Thanksgiving.