Amid pandemic, less holiday travel expected

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – AAA expects many Americans to stay home this holiday season due to the pandemic and travel guidance.

The busiest time of travel begins Wednesday through Jan. 3. There are 84.5 million Americans traveling, a nearly 30% decrease this year, according to the travel agency.

Air travelers can likely expect to pay lower airfare this holiday season. For those who are traveling by plane, health officials are reminding people to wear a mask and wipe down the seating area when boarding the aircraft.

However, road trips are the preferred method of travel as 81% of people are expected to travel by car. AAA said gas prices remain nearly 50 cents cheaper than this time last year.

“Travelers can really control their environment. They can control where they go if they need to return home quickly, they don’t have to worry about changing their flights and they can just get back into their cars and drive back home,” said a AAA spokeswoman.

The travel agency said the peak congestion to Chicago going east on I-290 will be at 4 p.m. on Dec. 30.

The CDC recommends taking a COVID-19 test one to three days before travel and another three to five days after travel.