WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Fourth of July is known as the busiest travel weekend of the summer, but with COVID-19 spiking across the nation, many are worried that it could impact plans.
Whether it’s a trip to the lake, trip to the beach, or trip to grandma’s house, plans for this year’s Fourth of July are going to look different.
“A lot has changed…and I think we, as human beings, are just adjusting to that change, but you need to be prepared if you want to have a pleasant trip,” said Sandra Marsian with AAA Pioneer Valley.
That’s why we spoke with the travel experts at AAA - to get the answers on what travel trends they are seeing this year, especially with recent coronavirus upticks across the country.
“We are really seeing Fourth of July travel weekend as the kick-off for summer travel, rather than Memorial Day weekend,” Marian explained.
While people are still traveling, numbers are slightly down.
“For July to September, the full travel season, we’ve looked at the numbers and we are seeing in the New England region that 37.6 million people will be taking trips during that entire time...That’s a decline of about two percent over what we have seen last year for automobile travel,” Marsian explained.
Of those who are hitting the roads, the majority are making their decisions last minute - making it hard for AAA to predict traffic conditions.
“We are used to be able to put out our forecast every year that gives everybody an idea of what traffic’s gonna look like and when it’s going to be a really bad…but this is the first year in 20 years that we haven’t been able to do that,” Marsian noted.
AAA told Western Mass News that no matter where you are planning to travel, it's important to check their states coronavirus regulations.
“They do vary and they do change almost on a daily basis. We at AAA are here to help folks with their plans and answer those questions,” Marsin added.
They even have an interactive map on their website that details restrictions.
“Despite these upticks, I think the reality of the situation is that people want to get out of the houses and resume normalcy. We can do that…but you need to be cognizant of the fact that this virus is still in the air,” Marsian said.