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Over 2.45 Million MA Residents Expected to Travel This Holiday Season

Sunday, December 16, 2018


More than 2.45 million Massachusetts residents are expected to travel this holiday season, 2.1 million of them by car, according to AAA.

“’Tis the season for holiday travel, and more Americans than ever will journey to spend time with friends and family or choose to take a vacation. Strong economic growth fueled by robust consumer spending continues to drive strong demand for seasonal travel. With a record-breaking one-third of the country choosing to travel this holiday, roadways and airports are sure to be busy,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs at AAA Northeast.

Overall, AAA is projecting the more than 112.5 million Americans will travel this holiday season, a 4.4 percent increase from last year.

By the Numbers: 2018 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast

Automobiles: More Americans will travel by car this holiday season than ever before. The 102.1 million people expected to pack up their cars for road trips is 4.4 percent higher than last year. It is the most since AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2001.
Planes: The 6.7 million people who will travel by air this year is the highest level since in 15 years and is 4.2 percent more than last year.
Trains, Buses and Cruise Ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 4 percent, with a total 3.7 million passengers.


Related Slideshow: 20 Ways to Get Into the Holiday Spirit in New England - 2018

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The Festival of Lights at La Salette Shrine

Attleborough, MA

By far one of the coolest lighting displays you will see anywhere in New England and maybe even the country. 

The festival features 300,000 lights over 10 acres of land. 

The Festival of Lights runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every night until January 6. 

Do not miss out! 

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Riding the Polar Express 

Woonsocket, RI

No better way to get into the holiday spirit than to hop aboard the Polar Express. 

The train runs through December 23.

The trip includes a 90-minute excursion on a real-life train that is filled with a reading of the classic children’s story, sing-a-longs, hot chocolate served in a souvenir mug, delicious cookies, games, and a special visit from Santa where he personally delivers the first gift of Christmas to every child.

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Tower Hill's Night Lights Display

Worcester, MA

Night Lights is a walking experience throughout 15 acres of glowing gardens, where more than 200,000 lights have been thematically placed among the trees, shrubs, fountains, and statuary to create a magical winter wonderland celebrating plants and nature.

The display runs from November 23 through December 30. 

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Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village

Sturbridge, MA

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. 

Christmas by Candlelight begins November 30 and runs through December 23. 

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Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep 

Providence, RI 

No better way to get into the holiday spirit than by going down to Trinity Rep to see A Christmas Carol. 

As is the company’s custom, the entire production will be completely new from casting to design and theatrical magic. This past season’s production became the highest selling show in Trinity Rep history.

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Inn-to-Inn Cookie Tour 2018

Mount Washington Valley, New Hampshire

At your own pace, visit 11 inns all dressed in their holiday finery; taste cookies and candy, and take home recipes in a keepsake book.

Artisan gifts will be on display at each inn.

Stay at one of the inns and receive a custom-made keepsake ornament. 

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Sing-a-Long with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall

Boston, MA

Held at Symphony Hall, the Boston Pops holiday concert is filled with food, sing-a-longs and a visit from the one and only Santa Claus!

Have some holiday cookies as the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays holiday classics for you and your family.

The seven kids afternoon shows include post-concert photos with Santa as well as special treats. 

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Christmas at the Newport Mansions 

Newport, RI

The glitter of gold and the sparkle of silver will dazzle you as you tour three magnificent mansions decked out in Yuletide finery. Music, tours, and spectacular decorations highlight the celebration of Christmas at the Newport Mansions.

The Preservation Society of Newport County invites you to make holiday memories with your family by visiting The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House this holiday season.

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St. Johnsbury Victorian Holiday Celebration

St. Johnsbury, Vermont

This annual event showcases the rich downtown arts and culture scene, with much to see and do for the entire family.

Horse-drawn sleigh rides, winter-themed arts and crafts activities at Catamount Arts, a planetarium show at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, and story time at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum are among the family-friendly activities.

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Boat Rides With Santa at Providence River Boat Company

Providence, RI

Climb aboard for a 30-minute boat ride along the Providence waterways with Santa. 

Rides go from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

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World Class Holiday Beer Tap Takeover at Norey's 

Newport, RI

World Class Holiday Beers from Around the World. Three Taps are up already. Spencer Trappist Holiday Ale from the only Trappist Brewery in the US., Browerij De Glazen Toren, Winter Scotch Ale,”Canaster" & Almond ’22 Christmas Cru. 

The event goes from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. 

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Candlelight Stroll 2018 at Strawbery Banke Museum

Portsmouth, NH

Strawbery Banke Museum welcomes visitors to travel through 300 years of daily life in the waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock.

Along candlelit dirt lanes, visitors will walk through a historic portrayal of winter among the glowing historic homes and costumed role players

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Photos with Santa - Deck the Halls at Audrain Automobile Museum

Newport, RI

Santa is stopping by the Audrain Automobile Museum on his way to the North Pole. on December 9. Bring your cameras and take a one of a kind family photo.

Photo included in museum admission.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.

The event goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Woodstock Wassail Parade & Holiday House Tour

Woodstock, Vermont

Visitors can delight in the jingle of sleigh bells and the clip-clop of hooves as riders dressed in Victorian Era Costumes ride around the Village Green.

Guests will experience the warm hospitality of New England when Woodstock’s most charming houses deck their halls and open their doors for what has become a quintessential holiday tradition.

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Old Fashioned Christmas in Bath

Bath, Maine

Bath, Maine hosts an Old Fashioned Christmas where Santa joins the Children's Tree Lighting along with caroling, contests, live music and more. 

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Visit Borrelli's Christmas Tree Farm

Johnston, RI 

The Christmas season can't begin without a Christmas tree and Borrelli's has just the trees for you. 

Start your Christmas tree shopping now and get into the holiday spirit. 


PHOTO: Flickr

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Festival Ballet's The Nutcracker at PPAC 

Providence, RI

The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition that must be seen. 

Join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince on a magical journey complete with beautiful sets, elegant choreography, and world-class dancers bringing this holiday tradition to life.

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Dickens Christmas Dinner Train at Portsmouth Junction Station 

Portsmouth, RI

This interactive retelling of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” by the Marley Bridges Theatre Company is an evening of music, laughter, food, and spirits which is certain to cure even the worst “Scrooge.” 

Your ticket includes the performance, train ride, meal, tax, and gratuity. Entrees include sliced beef tenderloin, holiday ham dinner, and turkey dinner. 

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Give Money to Salvation Army

Across New England

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

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The Broadway Holiday Walk-About 

Newport, RI

Carolers, jingle bikes & more will help get you in the spirit all while strolling along Broadway and enjoying the local restaurants & merchants. 

There will be local & regional makers and merchants lining the sidewalk from Corner Cafe to Farewell for your shopping pleasure! All will culminate with the Newport City Hall Tree Lighting

The walk-about goes from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 


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