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COVID-19: Overwhelming Majority Of New Jerseyans Staying Home For Thanksgiving, Survey Says

88% of respondents to the AAA survey said they’ll be staying home for the Thanksgiving holiday.
88% of respondents to the AAA survey said they’ll be staying home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

An overwhelming majority of New Jersey residents questioned for a recent survey said they won’t be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, and nearly half blame COVID-19.

“Given the recent surge in COVID-19 and the strong urging of Governor Murphy and public health officials for everyone to stay home for the holiday, the Thanksgiving travel landscape continues to change,” says Robert Sinclair Jr., the senior manager of public affairs for AAA Northeast.

Of nearly 800 New Jersey residents who responded to a new AAA survey several days ago:

  • 88% say they’ll be staying home for the Thanksgiving holiday;
  • 46% say they’re not traveling because of COVID-19;
  • 54% say they weren’t planning to travel anyway;
  • 85% say they believe traveling at this time poses a risk;
  • 34% call that risk “significant.”

Of those still planning to travel Thanksgiving, 77% said they plan to drive, which gives them “greater control over their environment and the ability to modify plans at the last minute.”

This Thanksgiving will no doubt set a record for the largest one-year decrease in air travel. Several airlines have been waiving change fees for would-be Thanksgiving travelers who decide to stay put.

Of those responding to the AAA survey, 18% plan to fly and 5% intend to travel by bus, train or another mode of transporation.

(NOTE: The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.)

BE WARNED: Given that most of those who travel will be driving, expect lots of company if you’re hitting the road.

To minimize the number of stops along the way, AAA recommends packing meals, extra snacks and drinks in addition to an emergency roadside kit – including extra masks and wipes.

“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,” AAA said.

HERE’s an interactive map with the latest COVID-19 related restrictions for all states: AAA.com/Covid19Map.

On the positive side, gas prices nationally, on average, are nearly 50 percent cheaper than this time last year. October’s averages were the lowest in 15 years.

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