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AAA: No Memorial Day Travel Forecast Due To Pandemic

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For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not give out it’s Memorial Day travel forecast.  The reason stems from the accuracy of the economic data used to create the forecast.  AAA says it has been undermined by COVID-19.

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

That’s Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson for AAA Michigan.   AAA says the pandemic will suppress Memorial Day travel with anecdotal reports suggesting 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.  With social distancing guidelines still in practice, the holiday weekend’s travel volume is now likely to set a record low. 

But Woodland says as social guidelines start to relax, they expect travel to pick up.

“We anticipate we’ll see a resurgence for summer travel.  First in domestic travel as social distancing guidelines and stay at home order start to diminish.  Especially if gas prices remain low.”

Woodland also says travel is a personal decision and advises following CDC guidelines.  She also says if you do decide to travel, make sure to check what’s happening in the area you’re traveling to, like if there are still any restrictions in place, to avoid any surprises upon your arrival.

When it is safe and travel really picks up, AAA predicts vacationers will prefer U.S. destinations, mostly local and regional locations, and the “Great American road trip”

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.