According to the American Automobile Association Travel Forecast, the number of travelers hitting the road for Thanksgiving this year will be much lighter than normal. This is no surprise considering the effects of COVID-19 travel restrictions. Julie Hall, AAA Public Relations Manager states, “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 – the largest one-year decrease since the Great Recession in 2008.”
Every year, AAA makes projects for travel numbers based on various models. Mid-October models indicated there would be up to 50 million Thanksgiving travelers, down from 55 million in 2019. Given the ever-evolving landscape, which includes rising COVID-19 positive case numbers, renewed quarantine restrictions and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) travel health notices, AAA now projects that the actual numbers will be even lower this year.
If you are among those who are healthy and do still plan to travel, make sure you are prepared. Look up state and local guidelines where you are, along your route, and at your destination to learn about any restrictions that may be in place. If you are set to proceed, here are a few preparation tips that will be helpful for any auto journey:
- Be sure your vehicle is ready for the trip with a service check. Things to inspect include: battery, brakes, wipers, lights, oil, coolant, fluids, and tire pressure.
- Download an app like GasBuddy to help you find the best gas prices along the way.
- Be sure your maps are current, whether it’s updating your GPS or getting the good old paper kind.
- When packing the car, you may need to remove things you normally keep in the trunk in order to make room for crockpots, casserole dishes, and luggage. Just be sure not to leave behind your roadside emergency items such as jumper cables or a folding shovel.
Have a safe road trip and healthy Thanksgiving holiday!