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“I don’t know if we’re really saving any money, but it’s an adventure,” Mrs. Lansing said.

Other travelers strategically hit the road early or planned to wait until much later Sunday to avoid possible bumper-to-bumper traffic that bogged down drivers on Wednesday.

Craig Haft, 57, left Cincinnati with his wife and daughter around 6:15 a.m. Sunday to drive to their home in Fairfax, Va., after visiting family. At midday Sunday, he reported smooth driving.

“It went fine on Wednesday, and has been good so far today,” he said.

At the baggage pickup at Boise Airport in Idaho, 59-year-old Charles Beyer waited for luggage after having just arrived from Portland, Ore., where he visited his son and daughter. He said he found most of his fellow passengers complacent about the challenges of traveling during the holiday weekend through packed airports.

“The good old days of pulling up to the curb and getting onto the airplane in five minutes are long gone,” he said.

AP reporters Keith Ridler in Boise; Pam Ramsey in Charleston, W.Va.; Sophia Tareen in Chicago; Jennifer Peltz in New York; Chris Weber in Los Angeles; Jessica Gresko in Sterling, Va.; Kristi Eaton in Sioux Falls, S.D; and Bob Christie in Phoenix contributed to this report.