AAA: At Least 34 Million Fewer People To Travel For Holidays
December 26, 2020
By Jessica Mathews/News@whmi.com
The holiday season is typically a busy time for travel but as expected amid the continuing pandemic, fewer Livingston County residents and others across the state are expected to be traveling this year.
The end of year holiday travel season is defined from December 3rd through January 3rd. AAA Michigan is forecasting that about 34 million fewer U.S. residents will travel over the Christmas and New Year's holidays compared to last year – marking a sizeable decline in travel according to spokeswoman Adrienne Woodland. She says AAA is projecting that overall almost 2.6 million people in Michigan could potentially travel for year-end holidays, which is down about 30% compared to last year.
When it comes to modes of travel, Woodland says 2.5 million Michiganders could possibly hit the road for an end of the year holiday, which is down about 27% compared to 2019. Woodland said air travel is expected to drop by almost 60% compared to 2019 - with about 83,000 people in Michigan expected to fly for year-end holidays. She noted that was way down from the over 200,000 in Michigan that flew for year-end holidays last year. Other modes of transportation such as bus, train or cruise were said to be down 87% in Michigan.
Woodland said AAA found that travel was certainly way down for many of the major travel holidays of 2020 that happened in the midst of the pandemic but they also noticed that more and more people were opting for road trips or taking a wait-and-see approach to travel – meaning booking travel anyway from two days to seven days ahead of when they planned to travel.
Woodland noted that AAA understands the decision to travel is a personal one, although the CDC is urging people to not travel for the holidays this year as it increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. For those who do decide to travel, Woodland says it’s important to understand the risk involved and take steps to keep yourself and others safe.
AAA Michigan’s website features a COVID-19 travel restrictions map and other resources for state and local restrictions to help determine what different gas stations, restaurants, hotels and rest stops are open along a given route. That link is provided.