This Thanksgiving holiday, travelers will be crimping travel plans rather than pie crusts, says AAA.
Pandemic-related health concerns, high unemployment and government travel restrictions are carving back travel plans for many Americans during a holiday that previously saw some of the highest national travel volumes of the year.
In a national holiday travel survey conducted in mid-October, AAA anticipates the largest drop in Thanksgiving travel since the Great Recession of 2008. Based on mid-October projections, less than 51 million Americans are expected to travel between Wednesday, November 25 and Sunday, November 29.
However, the actual national number may be much lower, since COVID cases have increased and more travel restrictions are in place since the forecast was conducted last month, said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokeswoman.
“As Covid cases continue to rise nationally, we expect actual travel numbers to be much lower this holiday,” said Mayko. “If you choose to travel, heed state recommendations, understand the risks involved and practice the protocols to keep yourself and others safe,” said Mayko.
Here are some general tips to lower your Covid travel risk:
- Visit AAA’s Covid-19 Travel Restrictions map at www.aaa.com/travelcenter or check state and local websites along your route and destination for restrictions and requirements.
- Call ahead and ask hotels what precautions they follow such as capacity reductions in common spaces, hotel staff requirements and available amenities. Ask car rental companies how they clean their vehicles.
- Pack face masks, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and thermometers. To minimize the number of stops on your road trip, pack meals, snacks and drinks.
- Follow Public Health recommendations by practicing social distancing, wearing face masks, and maintaining regular handwashing.
- Check with airlines about in-flight protocols and available amenities. Wipe down seats, armrests, belt buckles and tray tables before takeoff.