AAA predicts Memorial Day Weekend travel at an all time low amid pandemic

AAA predicts Memorial Day Weekend travel at an all time low amid pandemic
AAA predicts Memorial Day Weekend travel at an all time low amid pandemic (Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Usually, Friday would be a prime time for travelers to jump on the highway and head south towards the beach.

Others may opt for traveling by plane instead, but both means of travel will be looking a little different this year.

For the first time in 20 years, AAA said it won’t even try to guess Memorial Day travel this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Alli Woodall said she has been going to Panama City Beach every year to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, but she said this year feels a little different to her due to the pandemic.

“Not exactly sure what to expect,” Woodall said.

On the flip side, another Columbus resident said the numbers might be lower then previous years, but there still might be a good amount of people on the roads heading for the beach.

“I think it will be less compared to recent years, but I think there will be a good number of people out there due to the beaches opening back up and the low gas prices,” Nikko Black said.

Andrew Chalmers, CEO of the local non-profit Take The City, is one Columbus traveler who opted to fly out of Atlanta.

He documented his experience at a nearly desolate Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“So, just like walking through the airport, it kind of feels like some kind of weird movie or like the aftermath of some thing," Chalmers said. "Because usually, there are just hundreds of people all around you in every direction and yet today, there’s no one here.”

As far as what travelers can expect once they boarded, Chalmers said there are some changes there too.

“I just boarded the flight and there are a couple things that are different. They are only letting 10 people board and then, as you get on, everyone has to wear a mask,” Chalmers said.

The bottom line is we won’t see as many people traveling compared to years past. But AAA said the future does look bright and is predicting travel to pick up in the late summer and early fall.

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