AAA is expecting Thanksgiving travel to drop 10% across the U.S. due to the pandemic

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HOUSTON (CW39)– It’s no surprise less people are expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year compared to previous years.

According to AAA, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health concerns and high unemployment, are impacting Americans’ decisions to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. With health and government officials stressing that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick, AAA anticipates at least a 10% drop in travel across America and a more than 5% drop in total travel volume year-to-year in Texas – the largest one-year decrease since the Great Recession in 2008, according to AAA travel.

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. Texas figures are set to drop to 3.9 million – down from nearly 4.2 million last year. 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 (CDC) travel health notices, AAA expects the actual number of holiday travelers will be even lower.

“Nearly four million Texans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving, a decline of more than five percent when compared with last year,” said AAA Texas Vice President and General Manager Kent Livesay. “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 Americans who make the personal decision to travel for the holiday, it is important to know the risks involved and ways to keep yourself and others safe. In addition to CDC guidance, travelers should also be aware of local and state travel restrictions, including testing requirements and quarantine orders. Travelers can visit to find the latest state and local restrictions along their route.


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