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HARTFORD, CT (November 19, 2020) – A new survey by AAA indicates that a large majority of Connecticut residents will not be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, and more than 50% of those staying home say it is because of COVID-19 concerns.
“Given the recent surge in COVID-19 and the strong urging of the Governor and public health officials for everyone to stay home for the holiday, the Thanksgiving travel landscape continues to change,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “With that in mind, AAA conducted a new poll asking Connecticut residents who have decided against traveling for the holiday whether COVID-19, specifically, was the reason - and more than 50% said yes.”
The new AAA survey provides this snapshot:
Of the survey respondents still planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday:
The AAA survey of 1,215 Connecticut residents was conducted Nov. 12/13 by Public Policy Polling. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.9%.
What to Expect on the Roads
Of those who do still plan to travel, most will be driving to their holiday destinations so motorists should expect they’ll have company on the roads.
“Although Thanksgiving is typically a driving holiday, it should be noted that, since the beginning of COVID, those who have decided to travel this year have predominantly done so by car where they can have greater control over their environment and the ability to modify plans at the last minute,” Parmenter adds.
AAA reminds those hitting the road to plan their route ahead. To minimize the number of stops along the way, pack meals, extra snacks and drinks in addition to an emergency roadside kit – including extra masks and wipes.
For Americans who make the personal decision to travel for the holiday, it is important to know the risks involved and ways to keep yourself and others safe. In addition to CDC guidance, travelers should also be aware of local and state travel restrictions, including testing requirements and quarantine orders in the states you are traveling to, through and also upon your return.
An interactive map with the latest COVID-19 related restrictions for all states can be found at TripTik.AAA.com.
No Holiday for AAA Emergency Roadside Rescue
Despite the drop in number of people traveling for the holiday, AAA is expecting thousands of calls for Emergency Roadside Service. Last year over the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA responded to almost 4,000 calls for help, just in the Greater Hartford area alone.
“COVID-19 adds an extra layer of complexity to all interactions, including roadside emergency calls, so this year it is more important than ever for all motorists to ensure that their vehicles are road-ready, even if they are just driving across town,” Parmenter adds.
Road Trippers to Be Met with Lower Gas Prices
Those who do decide to hit the road for Thanksgiving will find cheaper gas prices. On average, gas prices nationally are nearly 50 cents cheaper than this time last year, with October averages the lowest in more than 15 years.
Here in Connecticut, the average price of gas today is $2.13/gal of regular unleaded, which is four cents cheaper than a month ago and 53 cents cheaper than last year at this time.
What to Know Before You Go
What to expect if you are Flying
AAA anticipates Thanksgiving air travel will see the largest one-year decrease on record.
Several airlines have been waiving change fees for would-be Thanksgiving travelers who decide not to go at this time.
If flying, AAA reminds air travelers that in-flight amenities, including food and beverage services, may not be available. Also, as a precaution, wipe down your seat, armrest, belt buckle and tray table using disinfecting wipes.
AAA National Thanksgiving holiday forecast
Based on mid-October economic forecast models, before the newest surge in COVID cases nationwide, AAA would have expected up to 50 million Americans to travel for Thanksgiving – a drop from 55 million in 2019 – based on previous projections. However, as the holiday approaches and Americans monitor the public health landscape, the actual number of holiday travelers is expected to be lower than we have seen in years.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.
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On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.
This event had:
This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA
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