AAA projects lighter travel this Christmas

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-The Idaho AAA predicts that holiday traffic volumes will drop by at least 29% this year.  As a result, 35 million fewer travelers will be on the road or in an airport this season.

It projects COVID-19 restrictions will motivate three-fourths of Americans to celebrate at home.  

Even so, AAA surveys indicate 84.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more between December 23 and January 3, 2021.  457,000 Idahoans will be on the road.   That is down from around 614,000 a year ago.

Because many workers get Christmas Eve off, AAA projects Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon to be the busiest times on the road.

Air travel is expected to be down by nearly 60% from year-ago levels.  About 15,000 Idahoans will be among the fliers.

“Another thing that could change this year is the length of the holiday travel period.  With more people working and studying remotely, some may be able to prolong their stay,” AAA Idaho Public and Government Affairs Director Matthew Conde explained.  “That means that return trips might be a little more spread out than usual.”

And, on the road, he advises, “Avoid aggressive driving by increasing your following distance and using polite gestures only.”

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