AAA: Most Thanksgiving Travel Likely in Vehicles
By West Kentucky Star Staff
WESTERN KENTUCKY - The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to push down the number of Americans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday this year by about 10%, according to AAA Travel. That's the largest one-year decrease since the Great Recession in 2008, when there was a 26 percent drop in travel.

The health and economic effects of the pandemic are causing many Americans to opt for last-minute and vehicular travel. Air travel and other modes of transportation such as cruises, buses, and trains are the most impacted by the pandemic, with 95% of holiday travel expected to be by car.

"Like everything else this year, Thanksgiving in 2020 will look much different than in years past," says Bevi Powell, senior vice president, AAA Travel. "Many Americans are weighing their options and considering the advice of health experts before finalizing their holiday travel plans."

AAA's forecast for travel between Nov. 25-29 in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi:

Method of Travel            Total Travelers      % Change from 2019    

Automobile                      2.9 million              -2.4%
Air                                   55,000                    -47.4%
Other (bus, train, ship)    10,000                    -74.8%
Region Total                   3.06 million           -4.7%

Traffic volume is expected to be less than in years' past, but travelers in major urban areas will experience increased delays at popular bottlenecks, up to 30% above normal pandemic congestion levels. Wednesday afternoon, November 25 is expected to see the highest volume of traffic.

With COVID-19 cases rising in many parts of the country, AAA reminds travelers to know the risks and minimize them by taking these steps:

• Plan ahead. Check with state and local authorities where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination to learn about local circumstances and restrictions.

• Pack Smart. Be sure to pack face masks, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizers.

• Minimize your risk. Use protective barriers such as plastic baggies or gloves to open doors, fill up the gas tank, or touch any other surfaces in public places. Also, try to minimize your stops, and when visiting family or friends, remember to socially distance, wear masks, and frequently wash your hands.

• Verify before you go. Call your hotels and car rental companies to ensure your reservations and clarify requirements.

• Check your vehicle for road-readiness. AAA expects to rescue more than 413,000 Americans at the roadside this Thanksgiving. Motorists should take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip.

Visit AAA's COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map at the link below for the latest state and local travel restrictions. Use (also at a link below) to plan your road trip and help determine which rest stops, gas stations, hotels, and restaurants you'll use along your route.

On the Net:

AAA Travel Restrictions Map
AAA TripTik page

Published 05:00 AM, Sunday Nov. 15, 2020
Updated 07:50 PM, Saturday Nov. 14, 2020



Most Commented Stories