TAMPA, Fla. — Spring breakers are already making their way to the Sunshine State to take in everything Florida and the Tampa Bay area have to offer, and right now, Tampa International Airport is preparing for a busy spring break season.
Most people would agree, there’s nothing like spring break in the Tampa Bay area.
“Siesta Key is a phenomenal area, so we’re like any chance to get away, we want to,” said Brooke Shedden.
“It’s been great so far, and we’ve been here for like two hours, so we’re looking forward to the rest of the week,” said Isabel Chaplin.
If you’re heading out the door for your next vacation, get ready to pack your patience. Tampa International Airport’s official spring break travel season gets underway this weekend, and if recent passenger numbers are any indication, TPA staff say this could be among the busiest on record.
“I think some of the bigger schools might have spring breaks later, so I feel it’s going to be a lot busier in the airports later on,” said Lily Rupp.
TPA said over the past several days, they’ve seen passenger counts that exceed those compared to the same dates in 2019, they say some by as much as 29%. Airport staff said this spring break period, which runs through April 26, will see peak days that reach nearly 88,000 passengers and many that will exceed 80,000.
“People want to get out and are restless and cooped up, and it’s good to do something exciting again,” said Carl Anderson.
Taking a look back, TPA said last year’s spring break saw about 65,000 passengers per day during peak times, and in 2020, they said numbers were very low in March and April. Staff members think the recent rise in passengers is a reflection of the demand for travel paired with less worry as COVID cases drop.
“We traveled here last year. We were the only ones on the plane,” said Trisha Caldwell.
For your trip, TPA recommends booking your parking in advance, choosing express if you’re not checking luggage, and of course, arriving early to give yourself plenty of time to get through any spring break travel rush.