AAA projects fewer Thanksgiving travelers due to coronavirus pandemic

2020 could be lowest travel season in 4 years

The holiday travel season is upon us and the COVID-19 pandemic is along for the ride.

Because of the pandemic, AAA is forecasting fewer people will travel for Thanksgiving this year.

The fewer travelers stem from ongoing health concerns and rising unemployment numbers. These key factors make up what could be the “the lowest Thanksgiving travel volume in four years, and the largest yearly decline since the Great Recession,” AAA said.

“We’re seeing rising numbers of the coronavirus. You’ve got federal and many state officials who are urging Americans to stay home for Thanksgiving," Mark Jenkins, Spokesman for AAA said. "So, you’ll have those people who will heed that advice and you’ll have others who will see this as a tradition and they’ll still want to travel.”

AAA is projecting 50 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving. In Florida, the expectation is 2.8 million travelers.

“With air travel, there are so many different elements involved and many different ways that it can be challenging to social distance,” Jenkins said.

These figures could be even lower, AAA said, as Americans monitor the pandemic and follow renewed quarantine restrictions.

“We do urge people to follow the advice of the CDC. Stay home if you can. If you’re going to travel, then follow the advice and wear a mask and social distance,” Jenkins added.

U.S. Thanksgiving Travel Volumes

YearTotal TravelersAutomibileAirOther (Bus, Train, Cruise)
202050.6 M47.8 M2.4 M353,000
201956 M49.9 M4.58 M1.5 M
Fewest Travelers Since2016201720192001* Lowest on Record

Florida Thanksgiving Travel Volumes

YearTotal TravelersAutomibileAirOther (Bus, Train, Cruise)
20202.76 M2.62 M121,26012,507
20192.91 M2.64 M218,21552,409
Fewest Travelers Since2017201820092001* Lowest on Record