More than 4M New Englanders expected to travel for holidays

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WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Nearly one-third of Americans are expected to do some sort of traveling for the holidays, making it one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Whether you’re hitting the road or taking to the skies, AAA recommends giving yourself plenty of time to travel due to increased congestion on the roads and at airports, train stations, and bus stations.

Increased consumer optimism and low gas prices are prompting more Americans than ever to travel this year, according to AAA.

The organization anticipates a record 103 million people will be visiting family and friends or going on vacation.

“Here in New England, 4.4 million New Englanders will be traveling this holiday weekend,” said Lloyd Albert of AAA Northeast. “That reflects about a 2.5 percent increase over the same time last year.”

Of those travelers, AAA expects about 93 million to drive to their destination, so traffic could be a problem at times this weekend.

“If you can travel very early in the morning or later in the evening, you really have the best opportunity of missing some of those major logjams,” Albert added.

Earlier this week, AAA reported that a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is averaging $2.24 in Rhode Island and $2.20 in Massachusetts. It’s higher than the average at this time last year, but significantly lower than during the recession.

If you’re planning to fly somewhere for the holidays, the Transportation Security Administration recommends arriving at the airport at least two hours before your flight.

It was busy throughout the day on Friday at T.F. Green, but it didn’t appear to get backed up. According to the WPRI.com Flight Tracker, only a handful of flights in and out of the airport were delayed.

As for what you can bring on the plane, the TSA says wrapped presents are allowed but not encouraged, since officers may need to unwrap them during their inspection.

Click here for more airport tips for the holidays, including a list of items you can and can’t bring on board.

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