Americans are making travel plans again, though cautiously and more spur-of-the-moment, according to AAA.
“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, the greatest share of travelers—683 million—will take to the road to satisfy their wanderlust.”
AAA travel experts have begun to see positive trends in travel, with hotel and rental car bookings gradually increasing since April, though air travel has been slower to rebound. Car trips once reigned supreme, accounting for 97 percent of summer travel. However, car trips will see the smallest decrease in travel volume at just 3 percent, while air travel will be down about 74 percent. Rail, cruise ship and bus travel will slide by 86 percent.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, AAA would have predicted 857 million trips for the period between July 1 and Sept. 30, a 3.6 percent increase over 2019. Instead, the pandemic wiped out nearly 150 million planned trips.