habitually AAA issues a press release about their vacation trips and gasoline price predictions just before long weekends like this Memorial Day. This year, they didn’t bother; Covid-19 locks and our different levels of commitment to these rules made modeling unnecessary. However, the organization predicted some good news: the resurgence of the American road trip
For the first time in 20 years, AAA don’t know what the roads will look like this Memorial Day weekend:
For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not be releasing Memorial Day travel forecasts as the accuracy of the economic data used to create the forecasts has been compromised by COVID-19. The annual forecast – which estimates the number of people traveling over the holiday weekend – will come back next year.
Anecdotal reports suggest that fewer people will hit the road compared to previous years for what is considered to be the unofficial start of the summer travel season.
“Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day Weekend – the second highest volume of travel ever recorded since AAA began tracking vacation travel volumes in 2000,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President, AAA Travel. “With the social distancing directives still in force, the volume of travel for this holiday weekend should reach a record level. “
Memorial Day 2009 currently holds the record for the lowest volume of travel with nearly 31 million travelers, according to AAA. This holiday weekend, which was near the end of the Great Recession, 26.4 million Americans traveled by car, 2.1 million by plane and nearly 2 million by other means of transportation (train, cruise, etc.).
Gas prices have started to climb out of the Covid crater, according to the Wall Street newspaper, although prices are still below what producers need to make money and, at $ 1.86 per gallon, well below last year’s average of $ 2.84 per gallon.
As the country opens up, travel intensifies again as people take their summer vacations. AAA has found online hotel bookings to be increasing, albeit slowly. AAA also found that more Americans will stay loyal to domestic travel this year, especially car travel, which makes sense: cheap gas and the desire to stay away from the recycled air of a airplanes mean that more Americans could soon hit the road on vacation than in years past. In February, shortly before Covid-19 really gained a foothold in the United States, an AAA Travel survey found that 90% of the 173 million Americans who had planned a summer vacation planned to take a vacation in the United States. United States. While not all of them are road trips, we can assume that quite a few will be.
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Obviously, it’s great. Long distance travel can be one of the most introspective, fun and difficult ways to see this country and spend time in your car. It’s a truly American past, which encourages spontaneous cessation and loss. Before hitting the road, however, it should be noted that the CDC currently still advises Americans not to travel at all except for necessary reasons and the severity of the lockout varies from state to state. Some states still require visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days before going out in public. Be sure to check the travel rules for the states you visit. Or maybe just stay home this year.