Tag: AAA

Pandemic causes travel organization AAA to urge members to reconsider Thanksgiving travel plans

An organization that’s been in the travel promotion business for 100-plus years is advising people to reconsider their holiday plans, have just small gatherings and perhaps stick closer to home this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nationwide, AAA expects about 50 million people to travel this Thanksgiving season. In Colorado, the organization anticipates there will be about 897,000 travelers. Those numbers could be even lower as people monitor the surge in COVID-19 cases and the restrictions being reimposed to slow the spread, AAA said.

Gov. Jared Polis and other officials are urging people to work from home. Neighboring New Mexico has imposed a two-week shutdown of a broad spectrum of businesses as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham warned the health care system is at a “breaking point,” the Albuquerque Journal reported.

Skyler McKinley, spokesman for AAA Colorado, said the organization is taking its cue from the experts this holiday season.

“As a membership organization, we have a responsibility to keep our members safe,” McKinley said. “If you talk to two sets of people, the experts in infectious diseases and the folks on the ground — at county health departments, in state government — those two groups of experts are saying now is not the time to travel.”

Economic troubles caused by the loss of jobs and business are also behind the AAA’s forecast of the lowest Thanksgiving travel volume in four years and the largest yearly decline since the Great Recession.

Car trips are expected to drop nationwide by about 5% this Thanksgiving, but increase in the West roughly 2% from Thanksgiving 2019. McKinley said.

One bit of good news is that those venturing out on the roads will pay less for gas. The national average price is expected  to be $2.11 per gallon, the lowest seasonal price since 2015. Colorado, motorists can expect to pay an average of $2.18 per gallon, down from $2.79 at this time last year.

AAA says air travel will likely drop by 47% nationally and nearly 45% statewide, with only 34,000 Coloradans traveling by airplane.

A survey by AA found that 73% of Coloradans are comfortable traveling in their own vehicle, compared to 28% percent who are comfortable taking a commercial flight.

Denver International Airport is anticipating a 36% decline in traffic from the 2019 Thanksgiving season, spokeswoman Emily Williams said in an email. The Sunday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are projected to be the busiest days, with about 50,000 people expected Nov. 29, which would be the airport’s busiest day since mid-March, she said.

“The airlines are taking every precaution that they can to protect travelers,” McKinley said. “The bottom line that we hear from the White House coronavirus task force and from governors is that if you’re going to gather, no matter how you get there, really limit the number of folks you’re going to see.”

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Car travel won’t see a huge drop this Thanksgiving, with AAA expecting to rescue 413,000 US drivers roadside



a view of a city street filled with lots of traffic: Those in urban areas can expect much heavier traffic the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Reuters


© Reuters
Those in urban areas can expect much heavier traffic the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Reuters

  • Travel rates this Thanksgiving will be down across the board, but those who elect to travel will largely do it by driving, according to AAA.
  • Traffic and road congestion will be lighter than in years previous, but those in urban areas can expect heavier-than-normal delays in bottleneck areas.
  • Traffic in urban areas is expected to peak the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Traditionally, the days around Thanksgiving are the ones that would see some of the heaviest travel in the United States. But thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travel will be a lot lighter this year.

With positive COVID-19 cases on the rise and renewed, tighter quarantine restrictions, AAA believes anticipates at least a 10% decrease in travel from 2019 — the “largest one-year decrease since the Great Recession in 2008,” it said.

AAA predicts that all forms of travel — whether via cars, planes, buses, trains, and cruises — will decrease this year compared to last year. Bus, train, and cruise travel will fall from 1.5 million passengers last year to 353,000 this year, a 76.2% decrease; air travel will fall from 4.6 million passengers to 2.4 million, a 47.5% decrease; and car travel will dip slightly from 49.9 million to 47.8 million, a 4.3% decrease.

Road trips dominate

“Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health concerns and high unemployment, are impacting Americans’ decisions to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Julie Hall, AAA’s public relations manager, told Business Insider. “Those who decide to travel are likely to drive shorter distances and reduce the number of days they are away, making road trips the dominant form of travel this Thanksgiving.”

So if you’re the type of dread holiday travel traffic, you can expect less of it this year.

But those living in major urban areas won’t be so lucky. AAA projects increased delays at typical bottleneck areas of “up to 30% above normal pandemic congestion levels,” Hall said, citing transportation analytics company Inrix’s prediction that Wednesday afternoon will have the highest traffic volume.



table: AAA and INRIX's predictions for the busiest corridors during this Thanksgiving. Screenshot via AAA


© Screenshot via AAA
AAA and INRIX’s predictions for the busiest corridors during this Thanksgiving. Screenshot via AAA

Just be sure your car is travel ready so it won’t break down on the way. AAA said it “expects to rescue more than 413,000 Americans at the roadside this Thanksgiving.”

Video: Amtrak Says Passengers Can Travel Safely, Comfortably On Northeast Corridor This Thanksgiving (CBS Philadelphia)

Amtrak Says Passengers Can Travel Safely, Comfortably On Northeast Corridor This Thanksgiving

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Know the risks

Knowing the risks involved is important to those choosing to travel this holiday. 

AAA highly recommends planning ahead. Check with state and local authorities where you are, along the route you’re planning on taking, and at your destination to find out about any potential restrictions that could be in effect.

And follow public health guidelines! Wear a mask consistently,

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AAA expects Thanksgiving travel to be down 10% amid COVID-19 pandemic

  • Travel rates this Thanksgiving will be down across the board, but those who elect to travel will largely do it by driving, according to AAA.
  • Traffic and road congestion will be lighter than in years previous, but those in urban areas can expect heavier-than-normal delays in bottleneck areas.
  • Traffic in urban areas is expected to peak the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Traditionally, the days around Thanksgiving are the ones that would see some of the heaviest travel in the United States. But thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travel will be a lot lighter this year.

With positive COVID-19 cases on the rise and renewed, tighter quarantine restrictions, AAA believes anticipates at least a 10% decrease in travel from 2019 — the “largest one-year decrease since the Great Recession in 2008,” it said.

AAA predicts that all forms of travel — whether via cars, planes, buses, trains, and cruises — will decrease this year compared to last year. Bus, train, and cruise travel will fall from 1.5 million passengers last year to 353,000 this year, a 76.2% decrease; air travel will fall from 4.6 million passengers to 2.4 million, a 47.5% decrease; and car travel will dip slightly from 49.9 million to 47.8 million, a 4.3% decrease.

Road trips dominate

“Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health concerns and high unemployment, are impacting Americans’ decisions to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Julie Hall, AAA’s public relations manager, told Business Insider. “Those who decide to travel are likely to drive shorter distances and reduce the number of days they are away, making road trips the dominant form of travel this Thanksgiving.”

So if you’re the type of dread holiday travel traffic, you can expect less of it this year.

But those living in major urban areas won’t be so lucky. AAA projects increased delays at typical bottleneck areas of “up to 30% above normal pandemic congestion levels,” Hall said, citing transportation analytics company Inrix’s prediction that Wednesday afternoon will have the highest traffic volume.

holiday travel 2020

AAA and INRIX’s predictions for the busiest corridors during this Thanksgiving.


Screenshot via AAA



Just be sure your car is travel ready so it won’t break down on the way. AAA said it “expects to rescue more than 413,000 Americans at the roadside this Thanksgiving.”

Know the risks

Knowing the risks involved is important to those choosing to travel this holiday. 

AAA highly recommends planning ahead. Check with state and local authorities where you are, along the route you’re planning on taking, and at your destination to find out about any potential restrictions that could be in effect.

And follow public health guidelines! Wear a mask consistently, follow social distancing protocols (at least six feet), and wash your hands regularly. Holidays can mean interstate travel and seeing relatives in close quarters, so it’s worth bearing some caution in mind. Bring extra face masks, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and a thermometer so you can monitor your health.

If you’re staying in

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AAA predicts ‘at least’ 10% drop in Thanksgiving holiday travel


AAA is anticipating a 10 percent drop in Thanksgiving holiday travel, the largest one-year decline since the Great Recession a dozen years ago.

According to AAA Travel, effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health concerns and high unemployment, are factors to Americans’ decisions to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Based on mid-October forecast models, AAA would have expected up to 50 million Americans to travel for Thanksgiving — a drop from 55 million in 2019,” AAA said in a release.


However, as the holiday approaches and Americans monitor the public health landscape, including rising COVID-19 positive case numbers, renewed quarantine restrictions and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel health notices, AAA expects the actual number of holiday travelers will be even lower.



“The wait-and-see travel trend continues to impact final travel decisions, especially for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president for AAA Travel.

“The decision to travel is a personal one. For those who are considering making a trip, the majority will go by car, which provides the flexibility to modify holiday travel plans up until the day of departure.”


Travel by automobile is projected to fall 4.3 percent, to 47.8 million travelers and account for 95 percent of all holiday travel, according to AAA.

Thanksgiving air travel volume will be down by 47 percent of prior years — to 2.4 million travelers, AAA predicts. This would be the largest one-year decrease on record.


Travel by buses, trains and cruises, is expected to decline 76 percent, to 353,000 travelers, as cruise ships remain docked and more travelers opt for car trips instead of taking buses or trains, according to AAA.

Traffic volume is expected to be less than previous years, but travelers in major urban areas will experience increased delays at popular bottlenecks, up to 30 percent above normal pandemic congestion levels, AAA expects.

The worst bottleneck in the New York metro area

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Thanksgiving 2020: AAA predicts that 50 million Americans will travel for holiday

Beep, beep!

AAA Travel has released the results of its annual Thanksgiving travel report, projecting less than 50 million Americans will hit the road for the holiday this year. While that stat might seem high for Turkey Day amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, the figure marks the most dramatic one-year drop since the Great Recession in 2008.

AAA published the predictions in a Thursday report, using economic forecasting and research from IHS Markit to make the calculations. The findings defined this year’s “Thanksgiving holiday travel period” as the five-day stretch from Wednesday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 29.

AAA Travel has released the results of its annual Thanksgiving travel report, projecting less than 50 million Americans will hit the road for the holiday this year. (iStock)

THANKSGIVING 2020: EXPERT ADVICE FOR CELEBRATING SAFELY   

Notably, the auto membership group declined to cite an exact number of people expected to travel in the U.S. on Thanksgiving, citing the ever-evolving nature of the current outbreak.

“Based on mid-October forecast models, AAA would have expected up to 50 million Americans to travel for Thanksgiving – a drop from 55 million in 2019,” the group said. “However, as the holiday approaches and Americans monitor the public health landscape, including rising COVID-19 positive case numbers, renewed quarantine restrictions and CDC travel health notices, AAA expects the actual number of holiday travelers will be even lower.”

With millions sticking closer to home on Turkey Day to protect loved ones both within and beyond their household, AAA foresees at least a 10% drop in travel, which would be the greatest year-over-year decrease since the economy plunged in 2008.

The auto membership group declined to cite an exact number of people expected to travel in the U.S. on Thanksgiving, citing the ever-evolving nature of the current outbreak. (iStock)

THANKSGIVING FEAST OR FAMINE? TURKEY INDUSTRY LEFT TO GUESS

“The wait-and-see travel trend continues to impact final travel decisions, especially for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “The decision to travel is a personal one. For those who are considering making a trip, the majority will go by car, which provides the flexibility to modify holiday travel plans up until the day of departure.”

For those celebrating outside of their home, traveling by car is expected to be the most popular mode of transit, with 47.8 million travelers to hitting the road and accounting for 95% of all holiday travel.

In a wise word of advice, AAA has advised those driving to their Thanksgiving table to plan ahead and pack snacks, drinks and an emergency roadside kit to minimize stops and reduce contact with others.

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Nevertheless, you can’t plan for everything – AAA expects to rescue 413,000 stranded drivers on the roadside this Thanksgiving.

For those flying to see family and friends, commercial air travel will be dramatically down

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Thanksgiving travel will look different this year, according to AAA

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If you can’t visit family due to the COVID-19 pandemic, host a virtual Thanksgiving dinner instead.

USA TODAY

Fewer Americans are planning to travel for Thanksgiving this year, according to AAA and Tripadvisor, with shorter stays and social distance from family and friends.

AAA predicts 50 million people will travel for the holiday this year, down 10% from the 55 million who traveled last year, before the coronavirus pandemic.

As in years past, the vast majority of those are expected to drive to their destinations. AAA projects that 47.8 million Americans will hit the road over the Thanksgiving holiday. That’s a 4.3% decline from last year.

“The decision to travel is a personal one,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “For those who are considering making a trip, the majority will go by car, which provides the flexibility to modify holiday travel plans up until the day of departure.”

The Thanksgiving forecast is the only holiday travel forecast AAA has issued this year.

AAA predicts that Americans will drive shorter distances this year and not stay as long. According to Tripadvisor, 22% of travelers will stay in a hotel or vacation rental to social distance from their family and friends.

A quarter are planning to take day trips or spending one night at their destination.

“This year, we can expect shorter trips with smaller groups of people for more intimate, close-knit gatherings,” said Christopher Hsi, consumer market research lead analyst for Tripadvisor.

Much bigger declines are expected in other travel modes. AAA predicts 2.4 million Americans will fly over Thanksgiving, down 47.5% from last year. Even fewer will take trains, buses or cruise ships. No cruises have sailed since March in U.S. waters due to coronavirus outbreaks on several ships.

Only 353,000 people are forecast to use those modes, down 76.2% from last year.

Those hitting the road may benefit from lower gas prices. The current average price of $2.12 a gallon is nearly 50 cents lower than it was a year ago, according to AAA.

Tripadvisor forecasts that Wednesday, Nov. 25, will be the busiest departure day, while Friday, Nov. 27, will be the biggest departure day.

Tripadvisor also notes that travelers are booking stays at sun-soaked destinations for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The most popular destinations include Key Largo and Key West, in Florida, and Sedona and Scottsdale, Arizona. Less popular holiday destinations include New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Nashville, Tennessee.

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Coronavirus: Read the latest COVID-19 information, plus advice if you have travel plans.

AAA Travel alert: Several countries, states, and cities have implemented travel and business restrictions due to COVID-19. Prior to making any travel reservations, please ensure that restaurants, hotels, and attractions are open.


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AAA Dining Discounts, Restaurant Discounts with AAA Member Deals

Maps…driving directions…car rentals…flights…foreign currency…vacation packages…travel insurance… time changes…travel guides. When you’re going on a trip there’s a lot to think about. AAA Travel helps you get started, and get to your destination. To learn more about travel planning with AAA at your local AAA website, click “GO.”




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  • Be sure to have a tentative budget and schedule so your trip planning can be accomplished in a realistic manner.
  • Don’t forget to mention any special needs, expectations, or requests, (like, your definition of “roughing it” is a room at a three-diamond hotel).
  • Traveling with your pet? Let your representative know if you plan on bringing the family pet.
  • Let them know if someone you’re traveling with has special needs.
  • If you’re leaving the country, you’ll need a passport, and possibly a visa or health documentation.
  • If your destination is a country where English is not spoken as the first language, write down some useful phrases ahead of time.
  • Make sure you’re aware of any cultural sensitivity, to avoid causing any offense to your hosts.
  • You can also double-check with the State Department for Travel Alerts at your destination.
  • Ask about the International Driver’s Permit – Find out the driving regulations or the availability and accessibility of public transportation, as well as other do’s and don’ts that might be appropriate in planning your particular trip.

Your AAA travel agent can help with all these questions.


To learn more about travel planning through AAA at your regional AAA website click “GO.”

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Travel | AAA NewsRoom


Travel Information and Trip Planning

AAA publishes travel information and trip planning tools in a variety of digital and print formats. AAA’s rich, proprietary content is gathered by professional inspectors and travel editors and backed by AAA’s knowledgeable travel and member service professionals.

 

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  • Travel Agency Services AAA Travel provides complete travel solutions for AAA members and the traveling public. One of North America’s largest travel agency networks, AAA offers a full suite of travel services through more than 1,100 offices and AAA.com. Services range from requests for up-to-date travel information to assistance with worldwide hotel, tour and cruise packages, and travel insurance. AAA Vacations® itineraries are designed for members, offering exciting itineraries, engaging experiences and exclusive values. AAA Travel provides more than 55 million members exclusive AAA member benefits, special pricing and value-added amenities.
  • Destination Information Detailed content for North American destinations is available to travelers via the searchable AAA Travel Guides on AAA.com, downloadable eTourBook guides, regional TourBook publications and retail products including The AAA PetBook. Smartphone users can access travel information on the go using AAA’s free app. Content for international destinations is featured in top-quality retail publications including the AAA Europe TravelBook and AAA Caribbean Guide.
  • Mapping and Navigation  AAA’s digital mapping tools include the TripTik Travel Planner, available on AAA.com and in the AAA Mobile app, which allows travelers to create and share custom trip routings across devices. AAA’s GIS/cartography professionals also research and produce atlases, sheet maps and individual routing maps that identify road construction, scenic highways, congestion areas, mileage and drive time estimates.
  • Inspections and Diamond Ratings Continuing a 79-year tradition, AAA’s professional inspectors use published guidelines to conduct unannounced property evaluations. AAA rates more properties than any other rating entity and is the only one using detailed, published guidelines weighted by member priorities to assign AAA Approved hotels and restaurants ratings of One to Five AAA Diamonds to guide member travel decisions. Travelers can get information about inspections and Diamond Ratings at AAA.com/Diamonds and real-time insight from #AAAInspector on Twitter @AAA_Travel.

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