GREENSBORO, NC -- Thanksgiving Eve is a holiday in its own right, a day often called "the busiest (and most stressful) travel day of the year."
AAA projects 48.7 million Americans -- one million more than last year -- will travel this Thanksgiving, and more than 89 percent of them will drive.
The NC Governor's Highway Safety Program launched its "Click It or Ticket" campaign Monday, and it runs through Sunday, Nov. 27. Troopers, officers and deputies will be pulling over and citing drivers who don't wear their seatbelts. NC Highway Patrol troopers say last Thanksgiving holiday, 22 people died in crashes on NC roads, and 13 of them weren't wearing seatbelts.
While most Americans are packing their cars, others are packing their bags. AAA expects more Americans -- nearly 8 percent -- will also fly this year.
Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro was busier than normal Wednesday morning, as passengers boarded early flights.
Greensboro traveler Edward Melvin told WFMY News 2 he was preparing to travel to Boca Raton, FL for Thanksgiving.
"This is the first year I've traveled in a while. (It's a) much-needed vacation," he said.
To help passengers ease into the busy travel day, PTI's volunteer ambassadors are passing out coffee, cocoa and cookies through Sunday, Nov. 27 starting at 5:30 a.m.
PTI ambassador Robert Cheney said, "I think it’s tremendously well-received. We started at 5:30 this morning, and everyone went from frowns to smiles."
Cheney encouraged all passengers to manage their time before their flights, in order to prevent avoidable stress.
"Make sure you get to the airport early enough so you feel comfortable; I would say (at least) an hour and a half on busy days like this," Cheney said.
That's a strategy Melvin's using to keep calm and carry on...to warmer weather.
He said, "If you leave early enough, you're not going to be stressed. We're just going to go to relax and not worry about anything back here."