AAA predicting decline in holiday travel by the millions
These are the lowest numbers of holiday travel since 2002
FARGO, N.D.- As the coronavirus pandemic carries on through the holiday season, AAA is expecting most Americans to stay home.
According to AAA, travel guidance from the CDC is heavily influencing travelers to change their minds about year-end holiday travel, a time that’s usually a high demand vacation time.
Even though it’s expecting 34 million fewer travelers than last year’s holiday season, as many as 84 million might still hit the road from December 23rd through January third.
With gas prices almost 50 cents cheaper than this time last year, 95% of travelers are planning on driving.
“Well, one thing they need to do is watch and understand that weather conditions can change. So, they need to have their emergency road kits with them, have a fully charged cell phone, be prepared for changing road conditions, and take their time to reach their destination,” says AAA North Dakota’s Gene LaDoucer.
Bus and train travel have taken the hardest hit, going down by 87%.
Most of these trips are expected to be shifted to car travel or canceled.
“This is going to be a relatively quiet season as far as travel in concerned. Most people will be staying home. We only anticipate one in every four Americans will be traveling for the holiday period,” adds AAA North Dakota’s Gene LaDoucer.
For the few air travelers, there are almost double digit reductions in average ticket prices.
AAA says to wear your mask on your flight and to wipe down seats, trays and buckles for extra precautions.
“If you are traveling, be sure to follow all of the guidelines put in place by all the government and local officials. So, be sure to be safe so you can come back and celebrate 2021,” says AAA North Dakota’s Gene LaDoucer.
For those who are still planning to travel, the CDC recommends getting a COVID-19 test one to three days before you travel and take another three to five days after you return home.
AAA also reminds travelers to double check their cars are winter weather ready to help avoid breakdowns.
The organization expects to rescue more than 905,000 people on the road this holiday season.