Travel advice: Getting out of town for Memorial Day weekend

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by Tami Hoey

Video reports by Gina Maravilla & Heidi Goitia

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Updated Monday, May 26 at 12:24 PM

PHOENIX -- As we head into a three-day holiday weekend, people are packing up and getting ready to hit the road! That could mean heavy traffic.

On Friday's Good Morning Arizona, Gina Maravilla was at the Traffic Operations Center at the Arizona Department of Transportation. The folks at ADOT said Memorial Day weekend drivers can expect busy roads starting later in the day. "This afternoon, drivers should expect a lot of heavy traffic around town, and also heading out of town, especially on I-17 and State Route 87 northbound."

Westbound I-10 and I-8 will also be busy as Valley folks head out to California. Experts advise leaving as early as possible

ADOT is working closely with DPS to keep the roads safe. DPS officers will be stationed every 10 to 12 miles.  ADOT has also placed some key pieces of equipment along I-17 heading north toward Flagstaff. "So if there is a crash or an incident, we've already got that equipment up there to get that debris or incident off the road, so we can get those travel lanes open."

Meantime, Heidi Goitia went to Sky Harbor Airport to check out the holiday crowds there and found some long lines. Airport officials say they expect crowds to increase by 20 percent Friday and Monday.

They offer travelers some money-saving tips:
-Use the prepaid, economy parking lots and take the shuttle
-Double-check that your carry-on items are okay for security
-Early bag check can save time.

"We always recommend that you arrive at the airport two hours before your flight departs to give yourself time to get through that ticket line and get through security," says Julie Rodriguez of Sky Harbor Airport. "But if you use that early bag check-in and bypass the ticket counter line, you can cut that time at half.

Early bag check is available at East Economy Parking, the 44th Sky Train stations, and the rental car service. The service is free but airline baggage fees may apply.

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