American travelers are making vacation plans through the end of the year but remain cautiously optimistic about those future plans. According to a recent AAA Travel survey, sixty-seven percent of U.S. adults planning a vacation before the end of the year report some degree of uncertainty, they will actually be able to take their vacation. As a result, some are making travel decisions closer to intended departures.

According to AAA Northeast, from the northeast region, of those who have not yet booked a Fall trip, 31 percent will book in under 30 days from departure. AAA advises these travelers to take proper precautions to help keep themselves and others safe while away from home.

The vast majority of trips this fall—80%—will be road trips, both short and long. Use of AAA’s TripTik, the legacy and ever-popular road trip planning tool, has doubled in the Fall compared to the spring and early summer. Not surprisingly, when packing up their cars, more Americans are heading to destinations known for outdoor recreation and socially distanced fun than in previous years.

As many Americans continue to work from home and attend school virtually, this temporary lifestyle change opens up new and exciting possibilities for fall travel – particularly for those who deferred summer travel plans... For those who choose to travel right now, the great American road trip continues to be the preferred method of getting out and exploring the United States. AAA advises these travelers to plan ahead and take precautions to be a responsible traveler. ~ Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel

Lower prices at the gas pump may also be motivating some would-be travelers to hit the road this fall. On average, gas prices nationally are nearly 50 cents cheaper than this time last year and are the cheapest fall prices since 2016.

This fall, vacationers are showing a preference for the great American road trip and U.S. destinations that allow for socially distanced, outdoor recreation. New additions to the list of top road trip destinations this year include Keystone, South Dakota – home to Mount Rushmore – and Colorado Springs.

  1. Denver, CO
  2. Las Vegas, NV
  3. Los Angeles, CA
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Seattle, WA
  6. Keystone, SD
  7. Portland, OR
  8. Phoenix, AZ
  9. Colorado Springs, CO
  10. Myrtle Beach, SC

(Data based on TripTik.AAA.com searches from June 15-Sept 14, 2020)

Are you planning a trip? Here’s what to Know Before You Go according to AAA:

For those who make the personal decision to travel, AAA recommends travelers check with state and local authorities where they are, along their route, and at their planned destination to learn about local circumstances and any restrictions that may be in place. These additional tips and helpful information play an important role in being a responsible traveler:

  • AAA Northeast’s Travel Centeris a one-stop-shop for travel-related news, safe travel best practices, trends and up-to-date resources readers need to make well-informed travel decisions.
  • Check AAA’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Mapas well as CDC’s COVID-19 data tracker for the latest state and local travel restrictions.
  • Consult a travel agent; they are a great resource and act as your advocate if your plans change unexpectedly. AAA travel counselors are ready to help Americans when they are ready to plan their next adventure. Visit com/Travelto get started.
  • Consistent use of face masks combined with social distancing (at least 6 feet) and regular handwashing are the best ways to lower your risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Be sure to pack face masks, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and a thermometer to help protect and monitor your health. Also pack water and extra snacks to reduce the need to stop along your trip.
  • Use AAA.comto plan your road trip and help determine which rest stops, gas stations, restaurants and hotels are open along your route. Also check out AAA.com/RoadTrips for more road trip inspiration.
  • Take your car into a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop to ensure it is road trip ready. To find one near you, visit com/AutoRepair.
  • Prior to any hotel stay, call ahead to ensure your hotel is open and ask what precautions they are taking to protect guests. Ask about social distancing protocols like capacity reductions in common spaces and hotel staff requirements to wear masks at all times.
  • If renting a car, ask what has been done to clean the vehicle. Hertz, for example, has introduced Hertz Gold Standard Clean, an enhanced vehicle disinfectant and sanitization process. For extra peace mind, use disinfecting wipes to wipe down door handles, steering wheels, shifters and control panels. Hertz is also offering deals for road trippers this fall. Book four or more days at any Hertz neighborhood location and get one day free. Visit com/Hertzfor more details.
  • Consult a travel agent; they are a great resource and act as your advocate if your plans change unexpectedly. AAA travel counselors are ready to help Americans when they are ready to plan their next adventure. Visit com/Travelto get started.

AAA continues to monitor travel trends and will release a traditional Thanksgiving holiday travel forecast in November. For more information, visit www.Newsroom.AAA.com.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app