Report: AAA Says People are Planning More Car Trips
AAA says overall travel is down this summer due to COVID-19 and most people traveling are doing so by car. There’s a large decrease in air travel and cruises as well.
The peak travel season has arrived and many people want to discover America. AAA predicts that 700 million U.S. residents will take road trips this summer.
That number is down nearly 15 percent compared to last July through September, mostly because of COVID 19. It’s the first decline in summer travel since 2009.
“That’s very true,” said Meredith Terpstra from AAA Minneapolis. “We had recommended and thought we would have nearly 850 million people traveling this year and COVID dropped that by 150 million. But we are seeing a steady increase from April to now. Most of the people that are traveling are traveling by car because it’s easy, efficient and it’s something you can control.”
According to AAA, 97 percent of the trips this travel season will be taken by car. Air travel will drop by 74 percent, while rail, cruise ship and bus travel will slide by 86 percent.
Many people are opting to stay close to home, bypassing trips to the east or west coast.
“That’s very true,” Terpstra said. “Luckily in Minnesota we have all the great lakes and all of these wonderful destinations to camp and hike and sights to see that are right here in our backyard. It’s easier to get home if something does go wrong.”
Terpstra says people are choosing to go to some of the non-traditional, low traffic spots where they can practice social distancing.
“That’s exactly right,” Terpstra said. “People are choosing to go to some of the non-traditional, not high traffic spots. Places that they can spread out a little more easy and social distance. That way they’re keeping themselves and their family safe.”
Wherever people are going, the good news according to AAA, is that gas prices are down in 2020.
“They are,” Terpstra said. “It’s really exciting. If you’re planning a trip this summer gas prices are down nearly 15 percent over last year. You’re seeing about $2.25 is the national average at our pumps.”
Anyone traveling soon can make their plans in advance by using AAA TripTik – which provides people with paper and digital maps. It also includes COVID-19 Travel Restriction updates.