MILWAUKEE - Millions of people are expected to travel for Christmas, despite warnings from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not to due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While AAA expects at least 34 million fewer travelers compared to last year’s holiday season, as many as 84.5 million Americans may still travel from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3, a decline in the travel of at least 29%. According to AAA, more than 2.2 million Wisconsinites traveled last year during the holiday season and this year is showing a 30.2% decrease with 1.7 million travelers.
"Officially, the CDC is recommending that folks not travel during the holiday season," said Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs for AAA. "We are seeing a significantly larger decrease in the number of people that plan to fly for the holiday season, compared to a smaller, but still pretty substantial decrease in the number of folks who will be driving."
A commute by car will remain the most popular option.
"The most important thing, really, is to drive as safe as possible," said Jarmusz. "Even though we’re going to see significantly less travel volume than we would normally see for a year-end holiday period, we are definitely going to see more traffic than we have on the roads."
As any seasoned traveler knows, planning ahead before you leave is essential, especially during a pandemic.
"As you’re traveling, you can know what to expect in terms of what facilities and amenities may be open along your route, as well as what potential quarantining orders there may be," said Jarmusz.
For those who may be in for a long haul, Jarmusz advised you pace yourself so you don’t end up being reckless on the roads.
"That will help you avoid fatigue, as well as the tendency for your mind to drift and become less focused," he said.
AAA put together a map that outlines COVID-19 travel restrictions across the country.