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AAA Survey: Many Marylanders Won’t Hit the Road this Holiday

November 19th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

A new survey by AAA indicates that a large majority of Maryland residents will not be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, and half of those staying home say it is because of COVID-19 concerns.


“Given the recent surge in COVID-19 and the strong urging of public health officials and the Governor for everyone to stay home for the holiday, the Thanksgiving travel landscape continues to change,” says Ragina C. Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “With that in mind, AAA conducted a new poll asking Maryland residents who have decided against traveling for the holiday whether COVID-19, specifically, was the reason and half said yes.”


The new AAA survey provides this snapshot:

  • 89% of Maryland residents surveyed will be staying home for the Thanksgiving holiday
    • 50%  say they are not traveling because of COVID-19
    • 50% say they were not planning to travel anyway
  • 90% of Maryland residents surveyed said they perceive that traveling at this time poses a risk
  • 43% calling that risk ‘significant’

Of the survey respondents still planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday:

  • 79% plan to drive
  • 14% plan to fly
  • 7% plan to travel by some ‘other’ mode of transportation (bus, train)


The AAA survey of 873 Maryland residents was conducted Nov. 12-13, 2020 by Public Policy Polling. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.3%.


What To Expect On The Roads


Of those who do still plan to travel, most will be driving to their holiday destinations so motorists should expect they’ll have company on the roads.


“Although Thanksgiving is typically a driving holiday, it should be noted that, since the beginning of COVID-19, those who have decided to travel this year have predominantly done so by car where they can have greater control over their environment and the ability to modify plans at the last minute,” Ali adds.


AAA reminds those hitting the road to plan their route ahead. To minimize the number of stops along the way, pack meals, extra snacks and drinks in addition to an emergency roadside kit – including extra masks and wipes.


For Americans who make the personal decision to travel for the holiday, it is important to know the risks involved and ways to keep yourself and others safe. In addition to CDC guidance, travelers should also be aware of local and state travel restrictions, including testing requirements and quarantine orders in the states you are traveling to, through and also upon your return.


An interactive map with the latest COVID-19 related restrictions for all states can be found at


No Holiday For AAA Emergency Roadside Rescue


Despite the drop in number of people traveling for the holiday, AAA is expecting thousands of calls for Emergency Roadside Service. Last year over the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA responded to nearly 6,700 calls for help in Maryland.


“COVID-19 adds an extra layer of complexity to all interactions, including roadside emergency calls, so this year it is more important than ever for all motorists to ensure that their vehicles are road-ready, even if they are just driving across town,” Ali adds.


For those who do need help, AAA makes it easy to request assistance – by phone, app or online – and members can track the service technician’s progress as they make their way to your vehicle.


Road Trippers To Be Met With Lower Gas Prices


Those who do decide to hit the road for Thanksgiving will find cheaper gas prices. On average, gas prices nationally are nearly 50 cents cheaper than this time last year, with October averages the lowest in more than 15 years.


In Maryland, the average price of gas on Wednesday, November 18 was $2.25, which is respectively five cents cheaper than a month ago and 22 cents cheaper than last year at this time.