AAA: More people taking spur-of-moment road trips during pandemic

Posted at 1:53 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 19:19:44-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - AAA officials say more people are taking spur-of-the moment getaways.

People say they are tired of being cooped up in the house.

“Americans will go out and explore this summer, but they’re taking a ‘wait and see' approach. They are not booking travel as far in advance and are likely to book more long weekend getaways than extended vacations,” said Holly Dalby, AAA Tidewater Virginia’s Director of Public Affairs. “When they do venture out, travelers will take to the road with 683 million car trips to satisfy their desire for adventure.”

News 3 spoke with travelers and experts on what to expect this Fourth of July weekend.

“We wanted to enjoy a nice week at the beach,” said Tiffany Mccune, who is visiting from Danville with her family and boyfriend.

They are staying in Virginia Beach for a few days, but first stopped Fairfax along the way.

“It was more of a last-minute trip. We just want to get out of the house; enjoy scenery, enjoy a different scenery,” said Mccune.

Down at the Oceanfront, it’s not hard to find other people who wanted to get away.

“We just wanted to come to the beach and have fun for the Fourth of July even though there’s not going to be any fireworks,” said Destiny Sparling from Yorktown.

Dalby said people are making last-minute trips.

"A large percentage are being made anywhere from 48 hours to seven days before departure rather than a month or two before.”

They said travel is down for airlines, trains and cruises, but people are taking road trips.

“AAA does predict that 97% of the travel this summer will be by car,” said Dalby.

She said they predict that overall summer travel will be down 15%.

“Travel is a very personal decision, and everyone needs to think about it from their own perspective, their own comfort with the situation and their family."

She said many people haven’t been driving as much due to COVID-19, so she recommended that you check your car battery, lights, blinkers and other functions before hitting the road to make sure your car is working properly.

She recommended bringing extra masks, gloves and plenty of disinfectant.

“So when you do enter a building, you can wipe off the table, wipe off the gas pump, hotel door room door handles - all sorts of things,” said Dalby.

Many people are out enjoying the holiday weekend.

“I love the boardwalk, and I love to be able to go to all the shops,” said Mccune.

“I got boogie boards today, so that will be fun to go in the waves,” said Zac Close.

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