(WVVA)- Tens of millions of Americans normally travel for Thanksgiving. AAA reports 55-million people took a trip for the holiday last year, but the pandemic is expected to reduce those numbers this year.
AAA surveyed West Virginians about travel plans and 86% of respondents say they're planning to stay home for this holiday.
"Of that 86%, 31% of those said they aren't traveling because of COVID. Which is almost a third. 69% of that 86% said they weren't traveling anyway. Some just want to stay close to home in general, and then others just want to be closer to home due to some of the activities of the pandemic," AAA Senior Public Affairs Specialist, Jenifer Moore said.
People are also reporting their preferred mode of transportation is an automobile during the pandemic.
"Travelers have better control of their environment, and who and what they come in contact with on their way to their destination," Moore said.
There are some West Virginians who plan to take a higher-risk travel option. 11% of survey respondents plan to fly, while 1% say they will use the train or take a bus. No matter the plan, plane, train, or automobile, the CDC says travelers need to follow pandemic protocols wherever they go.
"Check with your local state authorities where you are going, and your route to learn what local circumstances are, and what restrictions my be in place. Pack those face mask, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizes, and a thermometer. Also have water, snacks in the car, that's apart of the emergency roadside kit, and their may be some inclement weather as we're moving into the winter weather season so make sure you have those flares, jumper cables, but above all else make sure you get your car checked out before hitting the road," Moore said.
Moore adds that it's also a good idea to check with local authorities where you are going, and along your route to learn what local circumstances are, and what restrictions may be in place.