DeAnn Owens
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AAA Projects 683 Million Road Trips This Summer

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Woman and Dog in Car

The coronavirus pandemic means that travel this summer looks pretty different than usual. AAA is projecting 700 million trips this summer — a 15 percent decrease and the first decline since the summer of 2009.

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“Americans will get out and explore this summer though they’re taking a ‘wait and see approach’ when it comes to booking and are likely to book more long weekend getaways than extended vacations,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of Travel. “When they do venture out, travelers will take to the road with 683 million car trips to satisfy their wanderlust.”

Approximately 97 percent of Americans prefer to drive to their summer destinations, making it the least impacted form of travel due to the pandemic. Compared to last year, car trips will only decrease by 3 percent compared to a 74 percent decrease for air travel. AAA projects that rail, cruise ship, and bus travel will decrease by 86 percent.

“Were it not for the pandemic, AAA would be projecting 857 million trips during the third quarter, a 3.6 increase over last year. By this analysis, the pandemic wiped out nearly 150 million person-trips this summer,” reports AAA.

Although a road trip poses risks during the pandemic, it’s really the only travel people can somewhat control and adjust depending on comfort level and health concerns, note AAA.

This summer’s road trip won’t be like any other in the past, though. It will require a lot more planning and research so you can prioritize your health. Make sure you monitor travel advisories along your route, as well.

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In addition to the traditional vacation gear, make sure you pack hand sanitizer, masks, disinfecting wipes, and gloves. Business Insider writer Kristen Lee recommends packing a thermometer, as well. Make sure you wash your hands often throughout your trip. Avoid rest stops and restaurants, which pose a greater risk of exposure to the virus, by bringing along your own snacks and drinks, adds Lee.

If a road trip is in your summer plans, take precautions, plan well, and stay safe.