By now, I’m sure you’ve seen all of the terrible images and graphics of states and hospitals being overwhelmed by COVID-19. It’s safe to say that most people won’t be traveling this Thanksgiving and I’m one of them.
According to AAA Travel, “with health and government officials stressing that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick, AAA anticipates at least a 10% drop in travel – the largest one-year decrease since the Great Recession in 2008.” The emphasis here is on “at least.”
AAA’s projected numbers are as follows:
-Travel by automobile is projected to fall 4.3%, to 47.8 million travelers and account for 95% of all holiday travel.
-Air travel volume will be down by nearly half of prior years – to 2.4 million travelers. This would be the largest one-year decrease on record.
-Travel by other modes, including buses, trains and cruises, is expected to decline 76%, to 353,000 travelers, as cruise ships remain docked and more travelers opt for car trips instead of taking buses or trains.
I really think these number are being generous since these days, most people don’t decide if they’re going on a trip until the very last minute. If COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise, then there will definitely be less travel. Many government officials on the state and local side are recommending that residents stay home and not even have small gatherings. Below are a few examples:
–Chicago issues stay-at-home advisory and tells residents to cancel traditional Thanksgiving celebrations
–NYC mayor is urging New Yorkers ‘Do not travel out of state for the holiday.’
– Persons arriving in California (Oregon and Washington have a similar advisory) from other states or countries, including returning California residents, should practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. These persons should limit their interactions to their immediate household. This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state or country borders for essential travel. Read the full story here.
If you’re going to host or attend a Thanksgiving celebration, Dr. Fauci recommends eating outside and that everyone wear a face mask, even in small groups.
Researchers at Georgia Tech created an interactive tool that calculates the risk of catching COVID-19 at an event. On the bottom left-hand side, indicate the number of people attending and see what your chances are. Spoiler alert: They’re not good, even for the smallest group size of 10 people.
Personally, I don’t know anyone traveling by plane this Thanksgiving, which is something, given that my Facebook feed is full of travelers. I think most will take the CDC’s advice and have a virtual Thanksgiving. If you do, check out this post: How to Have a Fun Virtual Thanksgiving. One of the tips is to Zoom with family and friends and some great news was just announced a few days ago on Twitter. Zoom tweeted: “As a thank you to our customers, we will be lifting the 40-minute limit for all meetings globally from midnight ET on Nov. 26 through 6 a.m. ET on Nov. 27 so your family gatherings don’t get cut short.”
Now the big question remains … will everyone be on Zoom and will their servers be able to handle all of the calls? I hope so because my family is depending on it.
And if you do have to travel this holiday season, here are 10 ways to find cheap Thanksgiving flights. Whatever you do and however you celebrate, stay safe, stay healthy and happy Thanksgiving!