AAA: Holiday travel expected to busier in the Bluegrass than last year

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 4:34 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - According to a AAA poll, they’re expecting over 700,000 Kentuckians to travel for the Thanksgiving Day weekend this year, which will be near pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

According to Lori Weaver Hawkins with AAA Bluegrass, they believe the rise in travel this year is mostly due to people feeling safer from the pandemic than they did last year.

“We were at like, 36 to 37 percent of people felt it was a significant risk last year and so we can expect that played into their decision to stay home. Now, this year, we asked, ‘do you think it’s a significant risk’ and that number was only about 9 percent,” Weaver Hawkins said.

When talking to drivers around the area about increased gas prices for this year compared to last, most of them said that while they do expect to pay more to travel, they aren’t going to let that stop them from visiting family this Thanksgiving.

“It would have been a little bit more for gas, but we’d still go, people are still wanting to get out,” said George Combest, who is staying local for Thanksgiving.

“We’re going to go no matter what because it’s important to be with family and things around the holidays so to me that’s more important,” traveler Kathy Sutherland said.

And for anyone expecting to travel this year despite gas prices being higher, AAA says it’s important to get your vehicle checked over before you go, as they typically respond to several tire and battery issues every year.

“Compared to 2019, which will be similar to this year, we had almost 1,400 calls just in the central Kentucky area here because of breakdowns, so please get your vehicle checked before you head out,” Weaver Hawkins said.

Weaver Hawkins added the reason for gas prices being higher this year is due to the high demand for it, while oil companies keep their production the same as last year.

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