This year has been a rollercoaster with the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been disrupting daily life since March and has put a damper on this year’s holiday festivities. Health officials across the US continue to urge Americans to stay home and limit travel this holiday season, and it would appear that some of them are listening.
A new AAA report estimates that holiday travel across the US will fall by 25 percent this season as up to 34 million Americans choose to stay home. However, the report notes that the other three-quarters of Americans could end up traveling between December 23 and January 3. That could put as many as 84.5 million Americans on US roads during the pandemic. AAA notes in its report that the Centers for Disease Control is recommending that Americans do not travel.
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Those who are planning to travel are urged to use caution, and AAA recommends that travelers plan. They should check with state and local officials to understand any restrictions and rules that have been put in place. Travelers should also adhere to consistent mask usage and social distancing guidelines. Checking with hotels and car rental companies before setting off is also recommended just in case there are any last-minute changes. While there could be millions of Americans still traveling, most of them will be traveling by car – an estimated 96 percent.
AAA predicts air travel to fall 60 percent compared to last year, though 2.9 million travelers are expected to take to the air. There’s a chance even fewer Americans could travel. During Thanksgiving, AAA estimated that holiday travel would fall by 10 percent, though the decline was closer to 15-20 percent. According to AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins, holiday travelers have been taking a “wait-and-see approach” to traveling, which could see an even larger decline.