Sky Harbor offers ways to beat the July 4th travel rush

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By Jayson Chesler By Jayson Chesler

PHOENIX -- With July 4th coming up, the rest of this week is sure to be one of the year's busiest times to travel. However, those flying to their vacation destinations can take some steps to make the rush more bearable.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport offers prepaid discount parking, which makes parking at the airport both easier and cheaper. There's an online reservation system to book a spot in Terminal 2, 3 or 4's garages.

The prepaid parking is roughly half price compared to paying at the airport, which makes it a few dollars more per day than the economy parking lots. Register for parking online at Sky Harbor's prepaid parking webpage.

In addition to taking care of parking early, those flying on some airlines can check their bags before arriving at the terminal too. Early bag check is available to anyone flying American, Southwest or US Airways.

Early bag check is available at the east economy parking lot, 44th Street's Sky Train station and the airport's rental car area.

On top of those services, there are also a few tips to make things easier at the airport any time that are particularly useful during holiday weekends. Arrive at the airport at least two hours before the flight departs and double check carry-ons for any items that are not allowed before leaving for the airport.

With this Friday being Independence Day, it's also worth remembering that fireworks are not allowed in any carry-on luggage.

For more information on the airport or to check flight statuses, visit Sky Harbor's website.