CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The holidays are right around the corner, which means people are starting to book their plane tickets to visit family and friends. Officials with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport say their biggest piece of advice is to book your tickets early.

Stephen Clark, the director of commercial development, says back during the Fourth of July holiday, they saw travel numbers hit pre-pandemic levels and they’re expecting that to happen again.

Clark says it’s also important to check entry rules and restrictions for different states and countries before you travel, as they are everchanging. The airport still has its COVID-19 testing site available on the property to use.

He says they’re continuing to prioritize safety by cleaning regularly, noting that masks will be required when flying until the middle of January at the very earliest.

“Folks want to get out and travel. They can do so safely and they’re going to destinations where they can travel safely so they’re booking earlier, so those good deals aren’t lasting as long,” said Clark. “I think the big piece of advice for folks this holiday season who are looking to travel is book now and be ready to go.”

When it comes to airport staffing shortages, Clark says to be prepared to be patient when traveling as lines will be longer for the time being.

They plan to host a hiring event to combat this in the coming weeks.