AAA predicts fewer people will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday as COVID-19 cases surge
Thanksgiving is known as one of the most-traveled holidays as people from all over the country go to visit loved ones for the holiday.
But AAA says that because of rising COVID-19 cases, fewer people are expected to travel this year.
“People are just making the decision not to travel. We’re going to see an at least 10% decline compared to 2019,” says AAA’s Jeanette McGee.
McGee says that the original AAA forecast predicted that about 50 million Americans were planning to go somewhere over the Thanksgiving holiday.
“But since that forecast was put together, we know that number has definitely decreased and that's because -- it's the pandemic,” McGee says. “COVID numbers are increasing and states are changing their regulations, their guidance, in terms of travel - when you leave the state and when you return."
Of those who do choose to travel this year, AAA predicts that 95% of them will go by car to places that are close by and that they will be gone for fewer days than in years past.
McGee says that if you do plan to travel, you should make sure to plan ahead.
“Pack more food and water than you typically do to limit the number of stops you have to make. You need a thermometer, you need your mask, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies,” she says.
The Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest time to travel. But McGee says that the roads won’t look like they typically do over the holiday.
“When you’re going through major cities, you can expect some delays. But those delays are more like 20-60 minutes, not hours and hours of delays,” McGee says, adding that it is best to leave early or late to avoid rush hour times.