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. 

Top Destinations 

AAA has identified the following destinations as the most popular for travel: 

Las Vegas
New York City
San Diego

  • Give to Those in Need 

    From giving trees at churches to Why Me Inc. 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.


  • 10th Anniversary Production of A Christmas Carol at Hanover Theatre 

    Get to Hanover Theatre to see the 10th Anniversary production of A Christmas Carol on opening night. 

    Jeremy Lawrence plays Scrooge for the sixth year in a row, having guest starred on TVs The Blacklist and Shades of Blue, as well as worked with directors Brian De Palma, Rob Howard and Stephen Daldry. Lawrence is also known for his portrayal of playwright Tennessee Williams.

    The show starts at 7 p.m. 

    Click here for more information 

  • 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. 


    PHOTO: 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. 

  • Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village 

    Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village is an evening filled with New England holiday traditions, live musical performances, storytelling, sleigh rides, festive foods, a roaring bonfire, and strolls around the decorated Village Common.

    At the North Pole Village families will find Santa, Mrs. Claus Bake Shop, a magical talking Christmas tree, and an expanded train display featuring some trains from the movie Joy.

    The event goes from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

    Click here for more information 

  • Imagine John Lennon Christmas Festival at That's Entertainment 

    Multiple bands and solo performers singing Lennon, Beatles and Christmas Carol's. 

    Any bands, singers, musicians, artists, elves or Santa's helpers that would like to participate are welcome. 

    Festival times are as follows: 

    1:00 AM-6:00 AM, 2:00 AM-7:00 AM, 3:00 AM-8:00 AM, 4:00 AM-9:00 AM, 1:00 PM-6:00 PM

    Click here for more information 

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol at the Worcester Common Oval Ice Skating Rink

     Layer up in your most comfortable winter attire and pack some seasonal snacks for this outdoor film screening on City Hall Plaza. 

    Admission for skating is just $10 and includes skate rentals. Receive a $5.00 discount if you bring your own skates. Kids 6 and under skate free. Admission for the movie is free. 

    Click here for more information 

  • 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

  • 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. 

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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. 


  • 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.

    Happy Festivus! 


    PHOTO: Matt Keef/Flickr

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