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AAA Expects Fewer Ohioans Traveling For Holiday Weekend, But Not Due To COVID-19

Expect fewer people on CVG's escalators, and fewer people traveling altogether this weekend, according to AAA projections. [Paul Sancya / AP]
Expect fewer people on CVG's escalators, and fewer people traveling altogether this weekend, according to AAA projections.

Most Ohioans will not be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to a AAA survey of nearly 900 people that found 84 percent plan to stay home.

But the pandemic isn't as big a factor as one might think, said spokeswoman Jenifer Moore.

"Of that 84 percent who said they would be staying home, 40 percent said they're not traveling because of COVID. Sixty percent say they were not planning on traveling anyway," Moore said.

It's not just Ohioans. AAA first estimated 50 million Americans would go somewhere for the holiday, down from 55 million last year.

"That number has decreased slightly, and that is because of the uncertainty of everything going on with the pandemic," Moore said.

"That, at the time, was based on economic factors, which specifically would have the greatest influence on travel plans. But as cases started to go up, new restrictions came out and the latest CDC guidance, we expect the actual number of travelers will be lower than forecasted."

Of those Ohioans who are traveling, 83 percent will be driving, and only 16 percent said they would fly, according to the survey.

Across the country, Moore said airports have instituted changes to deal with the pandemic, including installing more hand sanitizer stations, changing how passengers pick up boarding passes, and how they go through security checkpoints. The local AAA office partnered with Cincinnati airport on an educational video about flying now, she said.

For those driving, Moore said AAA recommends planning ahead and that it's always a good idea to make sure your vehicle is in good working order before hitting the road.

"We are recommending in order to minimize the number of stops you make along the way, pack your meals, extra snacks, drinks in the car with you,” she said. “Pack extra masks and wipes as well."

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