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Millions Set To Hit The Roads, Skies For Thanksgiving Holiday

Traffic on Route 1 in New Jersey - Nov. 21, 2012 (credit: NJDOT)

Traffic on Route 1 in New Jersey – Nov. 21, 2012 (credit: NJDOT)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Whether you’re driving, riding or flying, the day before Thanksgiving is considered one of the busiest travel days of the year.

But your decision on where to spend the holiday may not be about who has the best feast. For many, it’s about how much it costs to get there.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

AAA forecasts that 43.6 million people will traveler for Thanksgiving nationwide — an uptick of less than one percent over last year with more than 90 percent getting to their destinations by car.

“With auto travel, it’s always a preferred mode of travel,” said AAA New York spokesman Robert Sinclair. “It gives people the freedom to go where they want, when they want.”

But even though more Americans will be traveling for the holiday, many will be spending less to get to their destinations. The average spending on Thanksgiving trips is expected to drop $56 from last year.

EXTRA: Tri-State Guide To Planes, Trains & Automobiles

“I’m planning on taking public transportation,” said Long Island resident Dana Polonksy. “I’m taking the train home.”

The average distance is down too by about 16 percent as well as the number of air passengers to just over 3.9 million.

“Air travel is down despite the fact that the average air fare is down 11 percent compared to last year,” Sinclair said.

AAA says the busiest days will be Wednesday, Sunday and Monday.

Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan - Nov. 21, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan – Nov. 21, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane: It’s Busier Than Normal At The PABT

The Port Authority says more than 30,000 daily riders have joined the bus terminal crowd. With vital rail links like PATH service to Lower Manhattan still on the outs, the 126 bus from Hoboken, for example, is handling three times its usual crowd.

Working in Midtown, probably until next year, thanks to flooding downtown, Mike O’Neil is among those rail riders who’s now on the road.

“I’m getting used to it. But I like the train much better because I just, I sit and I do nothing for 45 minutes,” he said. “[Now] I got to drive to the park and ride and then I got to get on a bus… Definitely more involved.”

NJ TRANSIT express services from the PNC Bank Arts Center, Ramsey, and other locations are making their final runs this evening.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman: Rental Car Chaos

With so many cars wiped out by the hurricane, Thanksgiving visitors might find it a bit harder than usual to get a rental.

One rental manager at JFK said they’ve had to bring cars in from other cities around the northeast.

“I had to go all the way out to Massapequa to rent a car after the hurricane,” said Karen Trombadore.

Her garage door in Howard Beach couldn’t keep the water out.

“I did pay a very high price for the minimum of three weeks,” she told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “$911.”

She was at JFK to make a switch because a flat tire, which was caused by all the debris in her area.

Most of the companies, at least those at JFK, have cars available and say if you have reservations for the holiday weekend, you shouldn’t have trouble.

“My car can be replaced and I’ll spend my holiday with my kids and love every minute,” she said.

Are you heading out this holiday? Let us know in our comments section below…