AAA: At least 54 million Americans will travel on Thanksgiving

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AAA projects more than 54 million Americans will travel to their Thanksgiving destinations on Thanksgiving Day.

Nearly 49 million drivers will drive to their destination for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Thanksgiving week is the busiest week for the transportation industry.

“Turkey, mashed potatoes and pie,” said Erin Brady, who is traveling from South Hadley to New York.

Forty-nine million people will be on the road this Thanksgiving holiday. To handle the demand, Peter Pan Bus Lines’ added 400 buses this week. Chairman Peter Picknelly told 22News Peter Pan is carrying 50,000 more passengers this week.

That’s a 50 percent increase over last year.

Since moving to Union Station, the company has seen a 25 percent increase in ridership to popular destinations like Boston, Cape Cod, and New York.

One student was pleasantly surprised by her quick bus trip out of the Big Apple.

“It was good,” said Emma Kaisla. “It was faster than I thought it was going to be. I’m 40 minutes earlier than I expected.”

The largest growth in holiday travel is by air, with more than 4 million travelers flying the friendly skies.

With 500 destinations across the country, more people will ride the trains.

To stay in the holiday spirit, and not be distracted by traffic, a South Hadley couple told 22News they bring items to occupy their time.

“We bring books and we bring some food on the train and some coffee,” said Runa Skar and Runa Wassermann. “And it’s always nice when you travel as a couple because you can always chat.”

To avoid peak travel time experts recommend the best time to leave is Sunday at 6 a.m.

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