‘We are being extremely cautious’: more people opting to drive versus fly this holiday season, according to AAA


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Their plans are different. 

However, during a holiday season in the middle of a pandemic, their goal of keeping themselves and their families safe is the same.

“We are going to meet them at the door and exchange gifts. That’s our plan,” explained Kelvin Allen, who is traveling to Wilmington to see family.

Allen said his plans are different compared to last year.  Just like Fasial Ahmed.

“Yeah, we are being extremely cautious. We are renting places that have direct access. Of course, we are eating out. Not in restaurants,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed said he is taking a historical road trip with his two daughters.  They are making stops in both Savannah and Charleston.

While Ahmed and Allen plan to see or be with family, Sheena Lee is planning to spend the holidays alone.

“I’m looking forward to the change and just celebrating Christmas as best I can without the family around me,” she said smiling.

According to AAA, most Americans are opting to hit the road than fly. 

AAA estimates road trips will account for 96 percent of holiday travel. 

Up to 81 million Americans will travel by car, a decline of at least 25 percent compared to last year.

“I said we should drive, but he wanted to fly,” said Amber Moss.

“And I said, ‘no!’  It’s a 12-hour drive. We got to drive there and drive back.  I’m not an Uber driver. No, flying is easier and I get to spend more time with my family,” her husband, Joseph Alexander chimed in.

They flew out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport Christmas headed to Memphis.

Some said they got on the road early Christmas Eve in hopes of avoiding the rain.

“We’ll get there. We’ll just drive slow and get there when we get there,” said Allen.

AAA’s website states, the CDC recommends taking a COVID-19 test one to three days before travel and another three to five days after travel, plus reducing nonessential activities for seven days after travel.

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