Holiday Travel Season Approaching; Pandemic Remains a Concern, Yet Confidence is Growing
Friday, October 30th, 2020
Georgians are cautiously developing plans for the holiday travel season. A new AAA survey determined that the pandemic, flexibility of parents working from home and virtual school for students are key influencers regarding how comfortable people feel about traveling in the coming months.
According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey, the vast majority of Georgia travelers (84%) are concerned about traveling this holiday season, due to the pandemic. However, confidence is improving. More than half (55%) of Georgians say they are more comfortable traveling now, compared to earlier this year when the pandemic began. Read the full survey here.
“While many will prefer to stay home this holiday season, some Georgians are more willing to travel than they were earlier this year,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Whether that confidence is based on more education about COVID-19 or simply a need to get out, AAA urges all travelers to follow the safety advice of the CDC and work with a trusted travel advisor.”
PREFERRED MODES OF TRANSPORTATION
The majority of Georgians (75%) say they are most comfortable traveling in their personal vehicle. This mode of transportation provides more personal control over cleanliness and social distancing. Auto travel tends to be more affordable due to lower gas prices, and allows drivers to be more flexible with the timing of their trip.
More than half of Georgians (58%) are still uncomfortable taking a commercial flight. However, the risk of contracting the virus on an airplane is minimal, according to a new study from the Department of Defense. The study determined that face coverings and airplanes’ air filtration systems dramatically reduce the amount of hazardous particles in the air. Airlines are taking steps to help travelers understand safety protocols, which include keeping the middle seat open on some airlines, including Delta. Travelers can consult with a AAA Travel Advisor to talk through available options and what to expect during their trip.
When do Georgians Typically Book Holiday Travel?
26% - Before September
14% - September
18% - October
17% - November
11% - December
“This year, travelers are juggling more decisions than usual in making holiday plans,” Waiters said. “AAA Travel Advisors are ready to help travelers sort through their options and make informed choices.”
HOTEL OR AIR BNB
Travelers have mixed feelings about hotels, resorts and Air BnBs, due to the pandemic. Fewer than half of travelers say they feel comfortable staying in a hotel or resort. Yet if given the choice, 41 percent more people would prefer a hotel/resort over an Air BnB or rental home. AAA’s Diamond Ratings and Best of Housekeeping Awards can help travelers choose hotels that best meet their needs.
VIRTUAL WORK AND SCHOOL ENCOURAGE TRAVEL
As many Americans continue to work from home and attend school virtually, this temporary lifestyle change opens up new and exciting possibilities for fall travel – particularly for those who deferred summer travel plans.
Over half of Georgians (54%), with access to work from home or school, say they are more likely to travel this fall due to the flexibility of these virtual options. The majority of these respondents (75%) say they work from home more often, due to the pandemic. One-third (34%) of parents have someone in the household who has attended virtual school.
AAA TRAVEL TIPS AND RESOURCES
Travelers can review a full list of travel tips here.
Plan your road trip. Use TripTik.AAA.com to plan your road trip and help determine which rest stops, gas stations, restaurants and hotels are open along your route. Also check out AAA.com/RoadTrips for more road trip inspiration.
Prepare your vehicle. Take your car into a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop to ensure it is road trip ready. To find one near you, visit AAA.com/AutoRepair.
Consult a travel agent. They are a great resource and act as your advocate if your plans change unexpectedly. AAA Travel Advisors are ready to help Americans when they are ready to plan their next adventure. Visit AAA.com/Travel to get started.
Hotels - Prior to any hotel stay, call ahead to ensure your hotel is open and ask what precautions they are taking to protect guests. Ask about social distancing protocols like capacity reductions in common spaces and hotel staff requirements to wear masks at all times. AAA’s Best of Housekeeping highlights AAA Diamond designated hotels that are recognized for implementing the highest cleaning standards.
Car Rentals - If renting a car, ask what has been done to clean the vehicle. Hertz, for example, has introduced Hertz Gold Standard Clean, an enhanced vehicle disinfectant and sanitization process. For extra peace mind, use disinfecting wipes to wipe down door handles, steering wheels, shifters and control panels. Hertz is also offering deals for road trippers this fall. Book four or more days at any Hertz neighborhood location and get one day free. Visit AAA.com/Hertz for more details.