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AAA Releases Travel Forecast

This summer, AAA forecasts Americans will take 700 million trips based on economic indicators and state re-openings.

That number is down nearly 15% compared to last July through September, and is the first decline in summer travel since 2009. AAA booking trends show that as Americans return to making travel plans, they are doing so cautiously and more spur-of-the-moment.

“Americans have spent the last few months dreaming about their summer vacations,” said Bevi Powell, senior vice president, AAA East Central. “There have been some changes in booking trends this year. Travelers are booking long-weekend getaways and impromptu trips, with many loading their cars and heading to their favorite sunny destination or national park.”

Car trips reign supreme accounting for 97% of the favored mode of transportation, and are expected to see the smallest decrease in travel volume (3% year-over-year). Air travel is expected to decrease by about 74%, while rail, cruise ship and bus travel will slide by 86%.

AAA travel experts have begun to see positive trends in travel, noting that hotel and rental car bookings have been gradually increasing since April. Also, the share of travelers making plans 48 hours to 7 days before departure – a sign that people are arranging last-minute trips – is significantly higher than normal.

No matter how a traveler gets to their final destination, AAA recommends considering these points before a trip:

¯ Check the CDC’s Covid-19 data tracker, municipal and state health departments and local news for updates on coronavirus cases and continue to do so while on the road.

¯ Visit AAA’s Covid-19 Travel Restrictions Map at TripTik.AAA.com for the latest state and local travel restrictions.

¯ Pack face coverings, gloves and cleaning supplies – like disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer – and a thermometer.

¯ Take all necessary travel documentation, including health insurance cards.

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