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Christmas travelers come home via planes, trains, automobiles and buses

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While grandma’s cookies and great presents are waiting over the river and through the woods, you’ve got to get through the traveling to get the good stuff.

“I’m coming from Winston-Salem,” driver Denny Rutledge said.

“I traveled here from Raleigh,” said driver Tiana Thorpe.

Although the countdown to Christmas is at just two days, the roads don’t seem so bad. Drivers we spoke with were traveling into town to see family and say any hassles they run into on the road are worth the reunion.

They chose to travel by automobile instead of planes or trains.

“I’d much rather drive,” Rutledge said. “I’d much rather bring myself down.”

“It’s just easier because I had to take care of some things while I was here, so I needed my car to do it,” Thorpe said. “A little running around while I got here.”

But there’s another mode of transportation that seems to be gaining speed.

“People are starting to ride the bus more, save gas,” WAVE Transit Supervisor Leroy Robinson said. “With all that traffic out there on the highway, there’s less traffic you have to worry about on the bus because you don’t have to worry about left, right. You don’t have to worry about speeding up, slowing down. All that takes place when you’re riding the bus.”

Robinson is the supervisor at the new WAVE Transit hub, which is also the Greyhound stop here in Wilmington. He says there are lots of advantages to hopping on the bus for the holidays.

“You’re able to ride on the bus with the whole family at the same time,” Robinson said. “It’s not every day you can do that inside of a car. You’re well rested when you get there. And, at the same time, you’re sightseeing. You get a chance to see the good ol’ America, USA.”

No matter which mode you choose, it’s important to stay safe. Thorpe and Rutledge have some tips for making your Christmas commute as simple as possible.

“It wasn’t bad because I left at night,” Thorpe said. “I’ve learned that during the day is really rough. Usually I see a lot of cops during the day.”

“Keep a reasonable speed,” Rutledge said. “Stay in the right lane as much as you can, and watch everybody else.”

According to GasBuddy.com, gas prices at this time last year were right at or even a little below $3.00 per gallon. This year, a gallon of gas will cost you around $3.20.

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