LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Turkey Day traditions will most likely be different for so many families this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AAA said they are expecting a 10% drop in all travel this Thanksgiving. They said they haven't seen anything like this since the 2008 recession.
If you are traveling for the holidays this year, AAA has some reminders to help make sure you are taking the appropriate safety measures.
Traveling by car or plane, AAA expects things to be lighter than previous years. Attributing that to COVID-19, health concerns, unemployment, and a number of economic factors keeping people home this year.
They are looking at a steep decline in all travel this season as states are applying more restrictions with case counts surging.
Although health experts are advising against it, if you are planning on traveling for the holidays AAA says there are extra measures you can take to be safe.
Their biggest piece of advice is to plan ahead!
AAA encourages people to not forget to make your health a top priority while traveling. They say you should be paying close, if not more attention as to how you are feeling and making sure you don't have any COVID-19 symptoms.
“If you are planning to travel make sure that you are planning to protect and monitor your health as you go. So when you’re packing you might want to take a few extra things like extra masks, sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and a thermometer.” said Doni Spiegel the PR Manager for AAA Central Penn.
Spiegel said based on AAA's holiday travel forecast, which was released in October -- AAA is expecting nearly 50 million Americans to venture out this Thanksgiving. This is a drop from 55 million in 2019.
However, they do expect that number to get even lower as Thanksgiving approaches with growing concerns and cases of COVID-19.
AAA is also seeing a trend they are calling "waiting to see." Spiegel said people want to travel and are booking trips, however they aren't making any final decisions until that date gets closer. Or people are booking far out into 2021 with hopes of a vaccine being out and distributed by then.
AAA is expecting those who are traveling to mainly do so by car. To elevate having to make multiple stops at potentially crowded rest areas they encourage people to pack plenty of snacks and drinks.
There are a number of resources AAA has for travelers, you can check them out on their website.
You can find an interactive AAA COVID-19 travel restrictions map online. It covers everything from state restrictions, to restaurant guidelines, masks policies, and more.
The map is a helpful tool to help with planning your travels ahead of time!