AAA says Americans will take less trips this summer due to COVID-19

DORAL, FL – According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), Americans will take less trips this summer with a decrease of nearly 15 percent compared to July through September of last year. 

This is mostly due to COVID-19 pandemic that has many people abstaining from traveling or choosing to do so with more caution. If this was not the case, travel would be up 3.6 over the same period last year, which represents a loss of nearly 150 million person trips this summer.

Transportation Today reported that the organization estimates 700 million trips this summer of which most of them will occur by car.

In fact, 97 percent of summer trips will be on the road, 87 percent more than the trend seen during the last five years. Low gas prices, down to an average of $2.25 per gallon from an average of $2.66 per gallon last summer, is one of the reasons why people is choosing this form of transportation. 

Air travel will be down by 74 percent while travel by rail, cruise ships, and bus would be down by 86 percent.

“When they do venture out, travelers will take to the road with 683 million car trips to satisfy their wanderlust.” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of Travel, to Transportation Today.

But travelers are taking a ‘wait and see approach’ rather than planning ahead of time when it comes to booking. Also, this summer will be more of long weekend getaways instead of extended vacations. “The share of travelers making plans two to seven days before leaving on their trip is significantly higher than normal,” reads the article.

Since April, according to AAA, experts are beginning to see an increase in hotel and rental car bookings, while air travel, “is making some progress.” 

This year’s top five destinations are Denver, Colo.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Phoenix, Ariz. Cities like Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Orlando, Fla., dropped from their typical top five spots to seventh and eighth, respectively.

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