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      Busiest time of year for traveling

      Many valley residents will be hitting the roadways for the Christmas holiday this year. In fact, more travelers than ever have chosen to spend the holiday somewhere else.

      It's become the new normal to pack up and go during the holiday season, from Thanksgiving until after New Years, expect major company on the roads and skies.

      Whether you're traveling by plane or getting behind the wheel this holiday season, Americans will be seeing a lot more people doing the same.

      Trip Advisor says 45 percent of travelers are planning to travel for the holidays, that's up 42 percent from just last year.

      The majority of people will be traveling for the Christmas holiday, while others will do so for New Years.

      In the Valley, it's been a busy month for Valley International Airport in Harlingen. Marketing Director Jose A. Mulet says they've been non-stop since the holidays began and doesn't expect it to slow down anytime soon.

      "If you have a smart phone, you might want to download the airline application that you're flying on so they can keep you abreast of any changes on the weather or particular itinerary," says Mulet.

      He also adds that planning ahead is a big plus to make your travels less stressful. Mulet expects the holiday rush to continue through Jan. 10th as students head back to college.

      With a heavy battle over how to best avoid the "fiscal cliff" on Capitol Hill, that doesn't seem to be stopping anyone from spending their money on travel expenses. 42 percent will spend more this year and 43 percent will spend around the same as 2011.

      Some of the top cities travelers will visit are: New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. If you're planning on traveling for the New Year, the best way to cope with holiday stress is to travel at off-peak hours and keep yourself occupied with music, movies or games.

      Looking ahead to 2013, 73 percent of Americans say they have already began making arrangements for the next year.