AAA says 84% of Virginians are not traveling for Thanksgiving

40% of those staying home blamed COVID-19
Updated: Nov. 22, 2020 at 6:55 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Are you choosing to stay home for Thanksgiving this year? You’re not alone.

AAA says many are staying home because of coronavirus concerns. Meanwhile, the airport is seeing the most travelers since March.

“Normal years we would be predicting over 1 million people to travel just in Virginia for the holidays, but this year, of course, is like no other,” said Martha Meade from AAA.

Every year we talk about the company’s holiday travel survey, but this year they’ve made some changes. Usually, it looks at the economic impact of travel. But this year, it looked at how people felt about traveling.

“84% said they were not traveling and of those who said they were not traveling, 40% said it was because of COVID,” said Meade.

AAA also did its survey a week ago, instead of in October like usual, to get more accurate results.

AAA says most who are choosing to travel will be traveling by car, but there are some flying. The company said it’s expecting the lowest airline volume it’s seen in the time it’s been surveying airline travel.

A spokesperson for Richmond International Airport said, yes, they’re expecting volume to be down for traveling. But they also say the past two or three days have been the busiest days at the airport since March.

On Amtrak, face coverings are required unless you’re eating or drinking. Bookings are limited on reserved trains to encouraging physical distancing.

One thing you need to consider, no matter how you travel, is restrictions when you arrive.

“Any state you’re going through or to because those considerations have to be taken into account as well,” said Meade.

If you are choosing to travel by car, AAA recommends packing snacks, drinks and anything else you might need on your trip, that way you can minimize stopping and exposure to others.

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