ATLANTA -- We are on the brink of one of the busiest travel times of the year and that will mean challenges ahead with lots of folks getting ready to take off from Hartsfield-Jackson this holiday season.

According to USA TODAY, airlines are expecting a record 51 million passengers for the holiday season. That's up more than 3 percent from 2016.

From Dec. 15 through Jan. 4, the trade group Airlines for America says they expect 80,000 passengers a day to travel to see family and friends.

And if you're one of those millions and making your way through Hartsfield-Jackson over the weekend, the busiest airport on the planet, you'll want to pack your patience.

You really can't prepare for a major blackout or other crisis. But here are some tips to move you forward.

According to CheapFlights.com, before heading out of Atlanta, book early and don't procrastinate. Booking early is the best way to get cheaper flights - especially when demand is high.

Also, shop around. Experts say it's not too late to look for deals. Make sure you're following airlines and travel deal sites on social media and sign up for their newsletters.

When packing, if you can, stick to a carry-on bag. Packing everything in one carry-on bag can save you time at the airport. And Transportation Security Administration officials will appreciate it - as will your fellow passengers.

And, if there are delays or cancellations - maybe because of a massive power outage - CheapFlights.com suggests bringing extra snacks and to keep your smartphone charged when things get a little wacky. You can also buy an extra device to keep your phone charged.

But, once again, patience is the most important thing to bring along.