By AAA of Western and Central New York
2020 has been a challenging year for many travelers, and now the rich colors of autumn are inspiring more tourists to book fall getaways. With Columbus Day weekend upon us, and many 2020 vacations disrupted due to the pandemic, many people are looking to escape for the long holiday weekend.
Given the unique nature of travel this year with safety, quarantines and social distancing being prime factors determining destinations, AAA Western and Central New York continues to see travel within New York grow in popularity as residents look to avoid a quarantine. At the same time, some travelers are cautiously booking trips outside of New York based on the state’s quarantine list. Last year, fall travel within New York was also common, but was accompanied by thriving international travel, ample Orlando Halloween bookings, and prearranged group travel. This year, Orlando remains a desired destination though travel volume is down dramatically from 2109.
Here are the top trends for travel this holiday weekend based on AAA bookings and requests for maps and tour books:
Even if traditional fall festivals are not taking place in 2020, adventure seekers can safely take part in activities like apple picking, visiting pumpkin patches, touring wine trails and more. New York State Parks offer beautiful views, the opportunity to social distance and travel safely. To predict the best time to view fall foliage, AAA WCNY recommends Leafpeepers or “I Love New York” websites.
Camping: We have seen a notable increase in the number of requests for campground information this year. We expect fall camping getaways to be very popular based on current requests for TripTiks and state park information.
Gas Prices: With road trips being the most popular form of travel, motorists will be pleased that gas prices remain low. Wednesday’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.18, down 47 cents from last year. The New York state average is $2.26.
Safety: This year, amid the pandemic, planning is more important than ever, and travelers should remember to wear their masks, pack hand sanitizer and remain socially distant. We offer AAA safe travel tips for every mode of travel and suggest checking the CDC’s COVID-19 data tracker and AAA’s COVID-19 travel restrictions map at TripTik.AAA.com for the latest state and local travel restrictions. AAA travel consultants are on standby to assist travelers in person, over the phone, or with virtual travel planning meetings. Learn more at www.AAA.com/Travel.
As Upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.