Among the latest victims of the pandemic are holiday travel and gatherings with AAA predicting that Thanksgiving travel volume to be the lowest in the last 11 years or since the Great Recession.
In its travel report for Thanksgiving, AAA predicted that travel for the holiday weekend will be down by at least 10%, ending 11 years of growth for the period.
While many Americans may have the financial resources to travel, restrictions for health and safety concerns will keep a larger number of people from doing so.
AAA echoed health leaders that staying home and avoiding larger groups is the best way to prevent spreading the disease.
“Conditions are changing rapidly, so we would expect most Thanksgiving travel this year to involve shorter distances and the flexibility that you get with a last-minute road trip.” says Matthew Conde, public affairs director of AAA Idaho. “A come-on theme will be ‘wait and see,’ but some people who have been separated from family for months will decide that this is the time to get together.”
“Last year, 89 percent of travelers made a Thanksgiving journey by car, but this year, it will be closer to 95 percent.” Conde said. “That means that the airports won’t be nearly as crowded but the roads could still be busy at times, particularly on Tuesday afternoon when holiday travelers co-mingle with commuters during the evening rush hour.”
Air travel is expected to be down by nearly half from previous years, the report said. But airlines have cut back on number of flights, and thus the number of seats available. Travel by train or bus is expected to be down by 76 percent.