The majority of Americans will be staying home during the holidays, AAA predicts.
In a press release shared Monday, the American Automobile Association, revealed the agency expects 29%--or 34 million-- fewer Americans to travel this holiday season, compared with data from last year.
“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,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “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.”
However, despite the drop, as many as 84.5 million Americans are still expected to travel from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3, the agency said.
Dr. Henry Walke, incident manager for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 response, previously advised Americans to postpone travel with the upcoming winter holiday.
"If you do decide to travel, the CDC recommends that travelers consider getting tested one to three days before travel, and again three to five days after travel," Walke said on a call. "This should be done in combination with reducing non-essential activities for seven days after travel."
For those intending to travel, AAA has reported most will do so by car, with road trips making up 96% of holiday travel. The 81 million Americans traveling via car is still a decline of 25% compared to 2019. Air travel has seen a 59.9% decline compared to the previous year, according to the association.
AAA has issued a warning to drivers to plan their route in advance and to prepare for changes as states roll out tighter restrictions around the holiday due to the coronavirus. To help, the association created an interactive travel restrictions map to show drivers what is open, as well as the latest state and local travel guidelines.