The COVID-19 pandemic can be very confusing for travelers. As Tennesseans look to Labor Day and the fall and holiday seasons ahead, many still wonder how the pandemic will affect the various elements of their journey.
In addition to its expert team of travel advisors who can help travelers create their travel plans with confidence, AAA has also introduced a number of free resources to keep travelers comfortable.
“Labor Day is usually the last big hurray for the summer travel season,” said Megan Cooper, spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “When the students are back in school, the majority of travelers are most likely to go on a three-day road trip. We encourage travelers to use these free resources in developing their travel plans. “
COVID-19 travel resources
- Covid-19 travel restriction card from AAA offers updated COVID-related travel restrictions, checkpoints and closings.
- AAA TripTiks Help map your route and find open gas stations, hotels, restaurants, campsites, auto repair shops, attractions and more.
- AAA mobile app can be downloaded for free to access all of the resources listed above, including travel restrictions for COVID-19, while on the go.
- AAA’s Best of Housekeeping highlights AAA Diamond hotels that are recognized for implementing the highest standards of cleaning.
Road trip tips
- Prepare your vehicle. Visit a AAA approved auto repair shop to make sure your vehicle is ready to drive. Some vehicles may have been idle for months and should be checked.
- Planned stops. Destinations and companies may have adjusted their operating hours.
- Pack cleansers and face covers. Some regions have regulations that mandate the use of masks.
- Pack food and water. This could reduce the number of visits to the store.
- Get out of the lane if your car breaks down. When faced with a vehicle emergency, safely steer your car off the lane. Turn on the emergency lights to alert other drivers and, if possible, leave the vehicle on the side facing away from traffic. When everyone is in a safe place, contact a road service provider.
Stay in a hotel
- Call before. Ask about restrictions or changes to facilities and the check-in process. Inquire about their cleaning protocols.
- Understand cancellation policy. Hotel cancellation policies may vary depending on when you booked, which website you used and whether the booking was made at a special rate.
- Bring detergent. While many hoteliers are implementing improved cleaning protocols, personally disinfecting high-touch areas can provide additional security.
Stop the spread of unsafe driving
“Preparing is of the utmost importance for people planning to travel during this pandemic,” Cooper said. “But it’s not just about protecting yourself from the virus. With the influx of drivers expected for Labor Day weekend, it is also important that travelers behind the wheel make safe decisions. Please ensure that you buckle up, slow down and avoid distracted and impaired driving. These are simple steps to reduce the most common fatal accidents. “
According to national data from the NHTSA:
- alcohol Driving disruptions account for almost a third of all road deaths
- AAA Says: Make sure you get home safely before your first drink
- Over speeding usually accounts for a third of all road deaths
- AAA says: obey speed limits, leave early so you are not in a hurry, reduce your speed in bad weather or other dangerous road conditions
- deflection is responsible for nine percent of fatal accidents
- AAA says: Drivers crash 8 times more often when they write an SMS. Crash 4x more likely when talking on a cellphone. Hang up the phone, program your GPS before driving, and secure loose items in the car.
- Seat belt Save lives. Almost half (47%) of the people who died in a motor vehicle accident in 2017 were not wearing a seat belt.
- AAA Says: Make sure the driver and all passengers buckle up; This includes children. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for all children. The safest place for children under 12 is in the back seat. Click here For recommendations on what type of seat is best for children.
Labor Day gas prices
Low gasoline prices continue to make road trips an affordable option for travelers. It seems drivers will pay Labor Day the lowest gasoline prices in four years. The national average price for gasoline is $ 2.23 per gallon. That’s 35 cents a gallon less than the 2019 Labor Day drivers ($ 2.58).
In Tennessee, the average gasoline price is $ 1.99 per gallon. That’s 28 cents a gallon less than this time last year. Tennesseans are set to see Labor Day gas prices lowest in 16 years.
The fuel supply chain was largely untouched by Hurricane Laura. Gasoline futures and wholesale prices have also fallen since the storm. While it is possible for drivers to see a spike on the pump in the coming days, gas prices are expected to remain lower than last year due to the limited impact of the pandemic on fuel demand.