BOSTON (AP) — New England residents passing through Boston for Thanksgiving said on Wednesday that they’re adjusting to traveling on tight budgets due to the slow economic recovery.
Mary Maguire, the director of public and legislative affairs at AAA Southern New England, said about 946,000 people will travel at least 50 miles in Massachusetts between Wednesday and Sunday, including 834,000 who will drive. Massachusetts, the largest economy in the region, is responsible for about half of the New England region’s tourism output, she said.
Landscape designer Anne Murphy, of Gorham, Maine, was waiting for an Amtrak train at Boston’s South Station as she and her husband, Ken, headed for Thanksgiving dinner in Gibbsboro, N.J. She said she travels smarter by searching for deals online, using cheaper airports further away from home and packing fewer bags to avoid baggage fees.
‘‘I think we probably travel a little bit less because of costs, but we've definitely traveled more public transportation in order to save on gas,’’ she said.
Murphy, 56, said they also are more efficient during trips by seeing as many people as possible to eliminate the need for additional trips.
Angela Peters, of Somerville, said she takes a Greyhound bus to see her daughter in Philadelphia. She said a $95 roundtrip bus ticket is cheaper than the $120 she'd spend on gas to drive there, plus the extra costs for tolls and parking.
‘‘So in these economic times you have to budget or you economize, what’s more beneficial for you — taking a flight? Driving your car? Or just spending $100 on a bus? And I think the best bet is to spend $100 on the bus,’’ said Peters, a mother of two. ‘‘When you get there, at least you'll have some money for leisure time.’’
Reflexologist Rosalie Cryan, of Quincy, was traveling by Amtrak train to join her son for Thanksgiving in Washington, Conn.
She said having to travel on an especially tight budget due to the slow economic recovery is becoming the ‘‘new normal’’ and she’s adjusting to that reality.
‘‘Yeah, it’s definitely a tighter budget, making sure you have lunch before you leave so you don’t have to buy the expensive food in the kiosks, that sort of thing,’’ said Cryan, 65, who recently downsized her home of 31 years to a studio apartment. ‘‘I'm coming back on Friday rather than waiting till Sunday so I won’t be on the second-busiest travel day of the year.’’
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