Thea Digiammerino

Over 2 Million New Englanders Expected to Travel for Holiday: AAA

The busy holiday travel season is here, with over two million New Englanders traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to predictions from AAA.

The automotive club predicts that 2.25 million New Englanders will be traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, the highest number since 2005. Most of them will be driving to their destinations. The holiday is defined as between Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 26.

Despite gas prices higher than last year, almost two million people will hit the roads in New England, a 3.3 percent increase over last year, AAA reports. Drivers will pay an average of 40 cents more per gallon to fill their tanks this year.

Those planning to drive should make sure they are well-prepared for the trip. AAA estimates it will rescue more than 330,000 drivers over the weekend for reasons like lockouts, flat tires and battery issues.

Air travel is also up, with almost 250,000 New Englanders expected to fly over the holiday, a 5.5 percent increase. AAA says that travelers will pay the cheapest airfares we’ve seen since 2013.

"Consumer confidence is up and airfares are down which means flyers will have plenty of company," says Suzanne Aresco, Director of AAA Travel. "Confusion over new TSA policies, winter clothing and adults traveling with children may slow security more than usual so travelers should expect delays."

Bradley International Airport warned that travelers should allow themselves at least 90 minutes for check-in and security processing for domestic flights. Those traveling internationally should give themselves three hours.

Travelers are also advised to check the status of flights online and plan out their trip to the airport ahead of time.

"Typically, our busiest day is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The second busiest day usually falls during a school vacation," said airport spokesperson Alisa Sisic.

In contrast, bus and rail travel is expected to be down in New England, the opposite of the national trend. But thousands still plan to take the train.

"I would say for us, taking the train is easier than trying to sit in rush hour traffic on the highways," said Catharine Rowse of Miami.

At Union Station in New Haven Amtrak is ready. They estimate 750,000 people will travel by rail during Thanksgiving week.

"We’ve added extra cars on our trains and extra seats to prepare," said Amtrak spokesperson, Jason Abrams.

Nationally, 51 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or farther this holiday.

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