AAA Travel: Pandemic will suppress Memorial Day travel but travelers already planning future trips

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCT) AAA announced for the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast, as the accuracy of the economic data used to create the forecast has been undermined by COVID-19.

The annual forecast, which estimates the number of people traveling over the holiday weekend will return next year.

Anecdotal reports suggest fewer people will hit the road compared to years past for what is considered the unofficial start of the summer travel season.

“Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day Weekend – the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes in 2000,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.”

Memorial Day 2009 currently holds the record for the lowest travel volume at nearly 31 million travelers, according to AAA.

That holiday weekend, which came toward the end of the Great Recession, 26.4 million Americans traveled by car, 2.1 million by plane, and nearly 2 million by other forms of transportation (train, cruise, etc.

AAA expects to make travel projections for the late summer and fall, assuming states ease travel restrictions and businesses reopen.

The expected rebound in domestic vacations aligns with trends AAA anticipated for summer 2020 pre-COVID-19.

AAA expects vacationers will gravitate to road trips and family bookings including air, car, hotel and activities to destinations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Shortly thereafter, assuming international travel restrictions are lifted, we expect to see more demand for tropical destinations and a wider range of international travel.

Road Trip Ready – if your car hasn’t hit the road in a while, AAA encourages you to take some simple steps to keep you and your vehicle safe.

Use this car care checklist to ensure your vehicle is ready for summer travel.

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