"We got up at 3:00 this morning," said passenger Howard Brown of Doylestown, Pa.
Even the early birds hit lines Friday morning at Philadelphia International Airport.
Passengers wound their way through to security between terminals D and E. Many left extra time and tried to travel light.
"I don't travel with gifts, I'll maybe send them ahead of time," said Yolanda Mohammed of Wilmington, Del. "I keep things all ready, ready for security."
"I go early, but never early enough," said Patrice Stover of Northeast Philadelphia. "I left really, really early, but it's still kind of pressing."
It's a big year for travel. According to AAA, more than 103 million Americans are expected to travel during the year-end holidays. That's the most on record.
Traffic building on I-76 by City Ave. AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates 1.2 mil Philly-area holiday travelers, most by car. pic.twitter.com/5bZbpAkGSY— Katherine Scott (@KScott6abc) December 23, 2016
In the Philadelphia area, 1.2 million people will travel 50 miles or more. About 7 percent of them will go by air.
That number includes the Morley family of Huntingdon Valley. They will ultimately end up on a boat.
"This is my mother's 83rd cruise," Phil Morley told Action News. "She's kind of used to it. Bags in the closet, put them in the car... good to go!"
"Love it," said Ruth Morley. "Can't find a man on there, but I'm still going!"
But the lion's share of travelers will go by car. AAA attributes the boost in holiday travel to additional consumer spending and optimism.
At Amtrak's 30th Street Station Friday, passengers lined up with the trains ready to roll.
With Hanukkah starting Saturday night and Christmas on Sunday, a lot of people have a lot of places to go.
"We started out in Florida," said Judy McElderry of Sarasota, Fla. "Went to Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey.... Now we're heading to Connecticut. We're hitting all family members."