AAA Travel expects a majority of Americans to stay home this holiday season, with the pandemic considered a key factor in the decision-making process of many who are opting not to travel.
Health concerns and official travel guidance are influencing the decisions of Americans to avoid traveling over the year-end holidays, a period that typically sees high demand for vacations. While AAA expects at least 34 million fewer travelers compared to last year’s holiday season, as many as 84.5 million Americans may still travel from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3, a decline in travel of at least 29%, the auto association said in a news release.
Despite COVID-19, AAA projects as many as 2.2 million people living in and around D.C. will opt to travel 50 miles or more from home during the holiday period around Christmas and New Year's Day.
Traffic volume, and therefore traffic congestion, during the holiday week is expected to be less than in years past. However, travelers in major urban areas could still experience delays upwards of triple normal drive times at popular bottlenecks throughout the day, AAA says.
AAA says Washington area residents will encounter the worst traffic delays of the holiday travel period on Monday, Dec. 28, along southbound Interstate 95 in Northern Virginia, based an analysis by INRIX, a traffic data and analytics firm.
The majority of I-95 delays will crop up from Interstate 495 near Springfield to Va. 123 in Lorton, AAA says. Traffic will begin to get heavy around 11:30 a.m., AAA says.
Worst Drive Times on Nation’s Busiest Corridors