Travelers brace themselves for holiday rush

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With rain and even sleet ahead of the holiday rush, it may not be a bad idea to get those holiday travel plans underway early.

AAA estimates that more than 48 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home this holiday season, and thousands of them will pass through O'Hare International Airport.

"Everyone wants to go home, so everyone wants to travel at the same time," said Marila Estrada, traveling from Seattle.

Although the lines at O'Hare were tame on Monday, the rest of the week is sure to be busy.

"I like to leave early and avoid all the mess," said Jeff Clouse. "I traveled for business my whole life so I know the drill."

The well-traveled are the pros with the tips to offer the strictly seasonal travelers.

"I've never traveled on the holidays before," said Katie Luaces, on her way to California.

"Try and condense as many things as you can into one bag instead of bringing two, it just makes it easier at baggage claim," said Rod Morrison.

Lucky for the thousands of passengers who will be passing through O'Hare over the next week, baggage workers will still be on the job. Although airport workers plan to strike, fighting for $15 an hour, better working conditions and the right to unionize, they won't strike until next Tuesday.

"Could have been a mess, more than a nightmare," said Clouse.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is usually the busiest travel day of the year.
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