Most Virginians altering Thanksgiving traveling plans and staying home

Most Virginians altering Thanksgiving traveling plans and staying home
(FILE) (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With Thanksgiving just days away, many Virginians are choosing to alter their usual holiday travel plans and stay home.

“We normally have a really big Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s, but we’re not doing that this year,” Fluvanna resident Kasey Hughes said.

For families across the country, friends and relatives travel long distances for the big turkey feast, but not this year.

“I’m staying here just because of the current health conditions and situations going on it’s really not a good idea,” Charlottesville resident Chris Dietzel said.

In a recent survey conducted by AAA Mid-Atlantic, 84% of Virginians say they’re not planning on traveling for Thanksgiving.

“Traveling is a very personal decision and I think we’re all concerned about our safety and about spreading the disease,” Martha Meade, the manager of public and government affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic, said.

Meade says 40% of those in the survey are not traveling due to COVID-19. “This year is very different and the numbers are all over the place. The real key is people are waiting until the last minute to decide.”

But for those who choose to travel, Meade says to heed all safety warnings. “If you are traveling, we do urge you to take all the safety precautions by having with you snacks, water, hand sanitizer, extra masks, and try to minimize your stops.”

When it comes to pumping gas, Meade recommends an extra step beyond just the hand sanitizer. “A lot of folks are taking a plastic bag that you get at the store and keeping some in your car. You can put your hand in that to pump your gas to minimize contact there.”

If you’re planning on crossing any state lines, you may want to do some research ahead of your trip.

“Remember to know all of the guidelines for quarantining, testing, not only here in Virginia, if you’re traveling from Virginia, but the states you’re traveling to and through,” Meade said.

Even though there will be less people traveling for Thanksgiving this year, Meade recommends leaving early if you’re traveling because the roads will be busier than usual.

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