AAA: ‘3/4 of Americans will stay home,’ holiday travel expected to be down 30%

Updated: Dec. 20, 2020 at 11:40 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - We’re just days away from Christmas, which means many of you will be hitting the road to see friends and family. But if you’re choosing to stay home this year, you’re definitely not the only one.

AAA says this year, they’re expecting the lowest number of travelers since 2001.

“AAA is expecting 3/4 of Americans will stay home for the holiday season this year,” said Morgan Dean, AAA spokesperson.

Dean says the company is predicting 34 million fewer Americans will travel this holiday in comparison to last year, which is about a 30% decrease.

“We’re hearing a lot from people saying that the travel recommendations — restrictions in some locations, requirements on tests before and afterwards in some areas — those are the kinds of things where they’re just deciding maybe we just put this off until next year,” said Dean.

AAA said about 96% of traveling this year will be done in a car. Air travel has seen a drop of about 60% and other means of travel, such as trains and buses, have seen nearly a 90% drop in travelers.

“We have seen people see their vehicles as an extension of their home; they can control the cleanliness inside, they can control who gets in and out of the vehicle for safety, and they’ve turned to their vehicles in numbers this year because of that feeling,” said Dean.

If you are driving, AAA recommends bringing extra snacks, so you don’t have to stop as much, and making sure you have everything you need to stop any spread of coronavirus.

“You may wanna consider bringing gloves with you to make any stops that you do contactless,” he said.

If you don’t have gloves, AAA says to bring a few extra baggies to use at the gas station, so you can limit your contact while pumping gas.

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