AAA: Nearly 85% of Ohio residents not traveling for Thanksgiving, but lower gas prices


CINCINNATI – A new survey by AAA indicates that a large majority of Ohio residents will not be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, and 40% 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 for everyone to stay home for the holiday, the Thanksgiving travel landscape continues to change,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “With that in mind, AAA conducted a new poll asking Ohio residents who have decided against traveling for the holiday whether COVID-19, specifically, was the reason — and 40% said yes.”

The survey showed:

• 84% of Ohio residents surveyed will be staying home for the Thanksgiving holiday…

• 40% say they are not traveling because of COVID-19

• 60% say they were not planning to travel anyway

• 81% of Ohio residents surveyed said they perceive traveling at this time poses a risk…

• 34% calling that risk ‘significant’

Of those planning to travel:

• 83% plan to drive

• 16% plan to fly

The survey of 895 Ohio residents was conducted Nov. 12-13 by Public Policy Polling; it has a margin of error of +/- 3.3%.

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

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.

Here in Ohio, the average price of gas on Wednesday was $1.93, which is 8 cents cheaper than a month ago and 64 cents cheaper than last year at this time.

Be prepared

Check with state and local authorities where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination to learn about local circumstances and any restrictions that may be in place.

Follow Public Health Guidance. Consistent use of face masks combined with social distancing (at least 6 feet) and regular handwashing are the best ways to lower your risk of contracting COVID-19. Be sure to pack face masks, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and a thermometer to help protect and monitor your health. Also pack water and extra snacks to reduce the need to stop along your trip.

Prior to any hotel stay, call ahead to ensure your hotel is open and ask what precautions they are taking to protect guests. Ask about social distancing protocols like capacity reductions in common spaces, hotel staff requirements to wear masks at all times and if all amenities are available, like restaurant dining.

If flying, AAA reminds air travelers that in-flight amenities, including food and beverage services, may not be available. Also, as a precaution, wipe down your seat, armrest, belt buckle and tray table using disinfecting wipes. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.