AAA projects 1st summer travel decline in 11 years due to COVID-19

Jun 26, 2020, 4:15 AM

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — The American Automobile Association is projecting that travel this summer will see a decline for the first time since 2009 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

AAA forecasts that Americans will take 700 million trips based on state re-openings and economic indicators.

That metric is down almost 15% compared to last July through September, 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,” Aldo Vazquez of AAA Arizona said in a press release.

“When they do venture out, the greatest share of travelers — 683 million — will take to the road to satisfy their wanderlust.”

AAA projects that car trips will see the smallest decline in travel volume at just 3% year-over-year.

However, air travel will be down 74% in addition to bus and cruise ship travel seeing an 86% decrease.

AAA estimates 857 million trips would have taken place this summer if not for the COVID-19 outbreak, a 3.6% increase from 2019.

Travel experts at AAA have seen an uptick in travel, noting that rental car and hotel bookings have been rising gradually since April.

And while air travel has been slower to recover, last-minute trips — scheduled 48 hours to seven days prior — have seen a significant increase.

AAA projects that 97% of this summer’s travel will be road trips, an increase from the 87% average over the course of the last five years.

“Beyond routing your map in advance, it is important to book hotels and plan out gas and food stops,” Vazquez said.

“Also, keep in mind that some national parks and attractions have capacity limits, so if there is a must-do activity on your trip, you’ll want to make arrangements for these in advance.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Store front of The Home Depot...

Man indicted for organized retail crime, shoplifting throughout the Valley

A 31-year-old man was indicted for 42 counts of organized retail crime and shoplifting throughout Maricopa County, authorities said Friday.

5 minutes ago

(Pixabay Photo)...

Westbound lanes of Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway reopen in Tempe after crash

The westbound lanes of the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway were reopened in Tempe after a crash near Scottsdale Road on Saturday afternoon.

3 hours ago

Stock image of backyard swimming pool. A 2-year-old boy was hospitalized but breathing after a drow...

Scottsdale to offer free swimming lessons throughout August

As a nod to Arizona Drowning Impact Awareness Month, Scottsdale plans to waive enrollment fees for swim lessons throughout August.

5 hours ago

People appealing immigration proposal inside Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix...

Associated Press

Legal fight continues with appeals over proposed immigration initiative for Arizona Nov. 5 ballot

The fight to keep a proposed border initiative off Arizona’s Nov. 5 ballot is not over yet. Immigrant advocates kept the issue alive this week by filing notice to the state Supreme Court that they will appeal the judge’s ruling.

7 hours ago

(Phoenix Police Department photo)...

Police investigating crash that killed motorcyclist at intersection in west Phoenix

The Phoenix Police Department is investigating a deadly crash between a motorcycle and another vehicle that happened on Thursday afternoon.

9 hours ago

mother of Mercedes Vega shares new details...

Serena O'Sullivan

Mother of Tempe victim in unsolved murder wonders if robbery suspect was involved

The mother of Mercedes Vega, a woman at the center of an unsolved murder case, joined KTAR News 92.3 FM's The Chris and Show Show this week.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

AAA projects 1st summer travel decline in 11 years due to COVID-19