Holiday travel rush underway at Orlando International Airport

It is officially the holiday travel season at Orlando International Airport. The 19-day travel period starts Saturday and it's expected to rival the busiest holiday seasons prior to the pandemic.

Airport officials are expecting nearly three million people to pass through the airport over the next couple of weeks. To save yourself a headache, officials are telling everyone to come early, maybe even as early as three hours before your flight – even if you're flying domestically – because they say lines will be long and parking will be packed.

Around 158,000 travelers are expected to pass through on Saturday which would make this the eighth busiest day of their 19-day travel season.

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The busiest day is expected to be January 2 when more than 162,000 people will come through the airport. Those numbers rival their busiest holiday seasons even before the pandemic.

Airport officials say they're learning from challenges that they had during the Thanksgiving holiday travel season to make sure travel now is going smoothly. 

To park at the airport, it is usually about $20 a day depending on where you park. So depending on how long you're going to be traveling, it may be easier to use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft to get in and out quickly.