Summer Travel Trends Shaped by the Pandemic

This year is all about day trips and road trips

RV camping

Getty images

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - In 2019, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day weekend. This year, Triple A is not even issuing a travel forecast, because it's expected to be record low.

It's turning into the year of the staycation.

"A lot of people are calling and asking for information on the state parks. They want to go to Letchworth and Allegany State Parks for day trips," said AAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey. "As we move into Summer we think people will be interested in the Finger Lakes, and Thousand Islands. Then they might venture out a little bit further, to places like Myrtle Beach or Cape Cod."

Carey said eventually air travel will return along with international travel. But this Summer, she expects any travel will likely be road trips. 

When it comes to air travel, Carey said some people are booking trips because there are bargains out there. Others are looking ahead to 2021.  A good example, Carey said, is the Alaska cruise season. "So many people go on Alaskan cruises from Western New York every Summer. They're not running those cruises this Summer, so people are already booking for next year to make sure they get that bucket list cruise on the books."

Another example is Walt Disney World. Disney has been closed for months, which is unheard of. The same for Universal Studios. Usually those places are booked 365 days out.

"Everyone who had a Disney vacation planned wants to rebook. And with capacity limitations, it's going to be difficult to get in. The good news is that both parks opened their entertainment complexes this week, City Walk and Disney Springs," said Carey.  Just this week, Universal Orlando shared their proposed re-opening timeline. June 1st and 2nd would serve as an opening for team members. Invited members, like Annual Passholders, would be welcomed on June 3rd and 4th to visit the parks. Universal proposes to reopen to the public on June 5th.  Disney is still working out its safety protocols.

RV sales and rentals have been spiking during the pandemic. "Memorial Day is always big with campers," said Carey. "But now more than ever, camping is trending, especially with many recreational vehicles having their own restroom on board. "I've heard people say I never wanted to go camping in my life, but now I'm willing to go, to shake this cabin fever."

Comments ()