Over 4.4 Million New Englanders Expected to Travel for Holidays
Sunday, December 18, 2016
GoLocalWorcester Lifestyle Team
More than 4.4 million New Englanders are expected to travel for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, a 2.5 percent increase from 2015, according to AAA Northeast.
Overall, AAA projects that 103 million Americans will travel this holiday season, the most ever on record.
“This year more Americans than ever will travel to celebrate the holidays and enjoy time with friends and family. Rising incomes, relatively low gas prices, and a generally favorable economic outlook should make for a successful holiday travel season,” said Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Northeast senior vice president of Public and Government Affairs.
Means of Travel
According to AAA, 93.6 million people will take a holiday road trip 50 miles or more from home. Air travel is expected to increase by 2.5 percent, with over six million Americans flying to their destinations.
“The current Rhode Island average price of $2.22 for gasoline is the same as it was in mid-July, so motorists are unlikely to make price a factor when deciding how far to drive. Hoteliers, restauranteurs, gas station owners and others dependent on the traveling public will likely be direct beneficiaries of this projected record-setting travel season,” said Albert.
AAA estimates that U.S. drivers have saved over $27 billion on gas so far this year.
AAA has identified the following destinations as the most popular for travel:
New York City
Buy an Ugly Christmas Sweater
You are bound to be invited to an ugly Christmas sweater party at some point during the holiday season.
So be prepared for it and go buy yourself the ugliest Christmas sweater that you can find and wear it to the party.
Maybe you will win.
Dress Up Your Pet, Send it Around
Reindeer ears and a Santa outfits are always good, but this holiday season, step your game up.
Become a Facebook legend.
A Festivus for the Rest of Us
You must watch the Festivus episode of Seinfeld, it is one of the most famous episodes of the entire series.
Laughter is the best medicine, after all.
When you finish the episode, be sure to celebrate Festivus on December 23.
PHOTO: Matt Keef/Flickr
Get Those Decorations up
Get those decorations up early this year and go all out, go to the extreme with the decorating.
Why not be the talk of the neighborhood?
Add to the holiday cheer.
PHOTO: Romeo Banias/Flickr
Sing Christmas Carols in Neighborhood
Get a group of friends or family members and go caroling in the neighborhood.
Or if that is not your thing, have a sing-along at someone's house, like a karaoke party.
Or just sing along to the radio in the car. Fine.
See the Nutcracker at Hanover Theatre
The Nutcracker is a Christmas classic and it is playing at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester.
Get in the holiday spirit by heading to the Hanover Theatre and checking out this magical play.
Or any other holiday play that you love for that matter.
Try a New Holiday Cocktail
Branch out your holiday cocktails -- eggnog is fine, but have you tried a Blue Xmas Margarita or a Chocolate Martini?
For some cool new holiday cocktail ideas, click here.
PHOTO: Corner Perk Cafe/Flickr
Go to a Holiday Service
Don't wait until Christmas, get in the spirit of things ahead of the holidays.
The sights, the sounds, the music -- if it doesn't make you think about the true meaning of things, try again the following weekend!
PHOTO: Brook Ward/Flickr
You Must Watch Home Alone
While it may not be your traditional Christmas movie, it certainly brings home the holiday spirit.
Home Alone is an all-time classic that simply must be watched.
Watch Holiday Classics on TV
Tis the time of year when some of the best movies are back on television, holiday movies.
Be sure to check our local listings for movies such as Miracle on 34th Street, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph and other timeless classics.
Then grab a big bowl of popcorn or any other favorite snack and enjoy.
Dress up as Santa
Grab an authentic looking Santa costume and dress up as jolly old Saint Nick for an entire day.
During that day, visit friends and relatives with young kids or even a local mall to find out what is on everyone's Christmas list.
PHOTO: Kelly Sue DeConnick/Flickr
Take a Day Off to Relieve the Stress
Don't wait until the weekend when the lines -- and traffic -- are long and tiring.
Take a personal day during the week if you can. Get some shopping and wrapping done.
And then relax.
PHOTo: Matilda Diamant/Flickr
Design Your Own Gifts, Don't Buy Them
Don't go to the crowded stores and buy gifts that are available any time of year, design your own gifts for friends and family members.
Maybe a cool photo collage or tickets for a service among other things.
Think of the stress you will save.
Find New Cookie Recipes
Cookies are big part of the holidays, whether you are leaving them for Santa or eating them yourself.
While it's perfectly fine to use your favorite cookie recipes, be sure to try some new recipes as well.
Need some ideas? Check out the links below
PHOTO: Troy Tolley/Flickr
Go Ice Skating at Worcester Common Oval
The Worcester Common Oval is a cool place to go ice skating, right in the heart of Worcester.
If that's not enough for you, skate on the old fashioned way, on a frozen pond.
Host a Gift Wrapping Competition With Friends
One of the most painful parts of the holidays is wrapping gifts, especially if there are a lot of them.
Invite some friends over and have a gift wrapping competition. Be sure to make some cookies and beverages while you are at it.
Visit Stowe Farm and Buy a Christmas Tree.
The Christmas season can't begin without a Christmas tree.
Start your Christmas tree shopping now by visiting Stowe Farm in Millbury and get into the holiday spirit.
Call Long Lost Friends or Family Members
On the phone -- not a Facebook post, not a text. Let them hear your voice. Find a way to reconnect on a personal basis.
Find out how they're doing. Make plans to catch up in person. But whatever you do, remember, texting doesn't count!
Give Money to Salvation Army
Throw some money in the Salvation Army kettle. Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. The person who stands outside ringing the bell is often there for long hours.
Even if it's just some change, smile at them and wish them a happy holiday.
PHOTO: j_lai/ Flickr
Shop Local at The Hidden Jewel
The Hidden Jewel has beautiful handmade jewelry, apparel for the office and on-the-go, and the best part is most of their wares are made in the US!
Secretly Pay it Forward
Standing in line at a local coffee shop waiting to order can be a long wait at times.
Make the day of the person behind you by paying for their coffee. It will put a huge smile on their face, and on your face as well.
But shhh don't tell them.
Give to Those in Need
From giving trees at churches to Big Brothers Big Sisters as well as many other great organizations, there are plenty of families in the community that could use your help to put a present or two under the tree for a child who might not otherwise get one.
Spend Time With an Elderly Relative
The actual day when the family is around can be hectic. Before then, go have a cup of tea, bring some cookies, and find out what holiday traditions they enjoyed.
Give the gift of time.
New Holiday Recipes
Try new holiday recipes for the meal.Traditional turkey, ham, stuffing, and sides are good, but why not try something fun?
Click here for some cool holiday recipes.
Or for an even more extensive list of ideas, click here.
Start Thinking About Your New Year's Resolutions
Don't wait until December 31 to promise you'll drink less and work out more.
Take stock of your life, figure out what's important to you, and what you want to accomplish in the New Year and start jotting stuff down.