AAA predicts 29% decline in holiday travel this year

If you’re planning to travel for Christmas, don’t be surprised if you notice less traffic this year. 

As concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect decision-making, AAA Travel expects at least 34 million fewer travelers compared to last year’s holiday season—a 29% decline. 

“While Thanksgiving is traditionally spent gathering with friends and family, the year-end holidays are when Americans often venture out for longer, more elaborate vacations. That will not be the case this year,” Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, said. “Public health concerns, official guidance not to travel, and an overall decline in consumer sentiment have encouraged the vast majority of Americans to stay home for the holidays.”

As for those that do travel, it’ll likely be by car. AAA Travel projects that road trips will account for 96% of holiday travel because of the “flexibility, security and comfort” that the car provides as opposed to a bus, a train or an airplane. The organization predicts that up to 81 million Americans will travel by car—a 25% decline compared to last year.

Road trippers will be greeted by lower gas prices compared to 2019 with prices remaining nearly 50 cents cheaper than this time last year.

The CDC and state health officials continue to urge you to keep your Christmas gatherings small and local to limit the risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus. 

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