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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

The pandemic is expected to push down holiday travel

Overall travel volume will be lower this Thanksgiving holiday, the biggest decline since the 2008 recession, according to AAA.

SAN DIEGO — AAA projects that holiday travel will be down this year. 

"It is going to be the biggest year over year decline since the 2008 recession, which caused a 26% drop in Thanksgiving travel," said Doug Shupe, Auto Club of Southern California.

This Thanksgiving holiday, which is usually the busiest travel time of the year, will look a lot different.

"We anticipate that Thanksgiving travel among Southern Californians this year will be more than 13% lower than last year," said Shupe.

And the vast majority of travelers will be driving.

"We're talking about air travel being down nearly 48% and other modes of transportation like trains and buses. Of course cruises aren't happening. That's going to be down almost 77% compared to last year," said Shupe.

"I think a lot of folks in our community, in our society, we have a different level of risk that we are willing to take," said Dr. Enoch Wang, the Chief Medical Officer of Mission Healthcare. 

Wang said unless you are self sustaining, there will always be a risk of contracting the virus even if you take all precautions.

"Certain families are going to have to decide what level of risk they are willing to take depending on what their own personal health situation is," said Wang.

But there are safer ways visit loved ones. And it all boils down to common sense, like having good hand hygiene and wearing a mask when possible. 

"The bottom line is COVID is out there it is real. The numbers are increasing. Obviously the more isolated you can be, the safer you are," said Wang.

If you do choose to visit friends and family, there are planning tools for you.

AAA has a map that tells you what the COVID restrictions are along your route.

The Georgia Institute of Technology has a tool that tells you the percent chance that you'll come into contact with a COVID carrier based on your party size and what county you are in: