For the first time in 20 years, AAA has NOT issued their Memorial Day travel forecast since the economic data utilized to create the forecast has been affected by COVID-19. Even with states reopening, many Americans are choosing to play it safe and stay home. The AAA annual forecast that estimates how many people will travel over this holiday weekend, plans to make a comeback next year.
Based on consistent reports, fewer people are estimated to travel this year and planning for a weekend staycation instead.
Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel said, “Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day Weekend – the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday volumes in 2000. With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.”
As states continue to ease travel restrictions, AAA hopes to make travel projections for late summer and fall. 2020 pre-COVID-19 surveyed 173 million Americans, 90% of them said they planned to travel domestically, which is common during a presidential election year. Many hold off from traveling internationally because they want to see how the election will affect the economy and international relations.
“The saying goes that not the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Americans are taking that first step toward their journey from the comfort of their home by researching vacation opportunities and talking with travel agents. We are seeing that Americans are showing a preference and inspiration to explore all that our country has to offer as soon as it is safe to travel,” says Twidale.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) still recommends that Americans stay home and avoid nonessential travel as much as possible.
Once international travel restrictions are lifted, AAA expects to see a high demand for tropical destinations, along with a wider range of international travel.
AAA offers resource guides for future domestic vacations.