AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts Virginia holiday travel will be the lowest in years

AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts Virginia holiday travel will be the lowest in years
FILE (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With Christmas and New Years right around the corner, AAA Mid-Atlantic says more Virginians are heeding the warnings by staying home this holiday season.

“We expect to see the lowest number of holiday travelers that we have seen in nearly two decades, down a million over last year,” AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesperson Martha Meade said.

As more COVID-19 restrictions go into effect in Virginia, AAA shows that 34 millions fewer Americans will be traveling for the holidays.

“Auto travel is the number-one mode of transportation for this type of holiday anyway, and that is expected to be down the lowest since 2018. It’s about 800,000 lower than we saw last year. That’s about close to a 30% drop,” Meade said.

Cheryl Goolsby, a medical assistant for the University of Virginia, says staying put this winter is key to ending the coronavirus pandemic.

“People should stay home because we have COVID out here and the only way we can get this taken care of is if people stay put,” Goolsby said.

Even though less people are traveling, Meade says more than 84 million Americans will still be on the roads.

“That means the roadways are going to be busier than they have been of course during normal times and during the pandemic,” Meade said.

Packing your car with essentials if you will be traveling is always a good idea.

“Of course bringing with you when you travel extra masks, extra hand sanitizer, extra wipes, maybe a plastic bag to grab the gas tank, extra snacks,” Meade said.

AAA Mid-Atlantic also predicts that air travel will be down 60% compared to last year.

“These numbers could drop even further, of course Governor Northam just implemented new guidance restrictions,” Meade said.

If you will be traveling for the holidays, Meade advises folks to check the travel restrictions in other states before hitting the road.

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