Holiday and summer travelers taking different approach this year

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Folks staying or touring through La Crosse for the fourth of July are taking a different approach when it comes to travel.

“You know we haven’t been able to get out very much, not a lot of things open,” says Bill Holton, who is traveling through La Crosse. “But we thought you know fourth of July, it’s a weekend. We got the time off.”

He is taking the scenic route from the Twin Cities to Madison.

“Our daughter is a student there,” Holton said. Our son works there.”

Holton planned his holiday trip just a week ago.

“We usually plan out more,” Holton said. “But this seems to be the the kinda year where you can’t plan too far ahead because you don’t know what things are gonna be like.”

That’s what the trend is looking like for the summer. According to the American Automobile Association, more people are booking trips at the last minute, with most of those lasting for about a weekend.

Vincent Morgan is visiting La Crosse for the holiday, but has had his trip to Spokane planned for seven months.

“I got an uncle who lives out there,” Morgan said. “Possibly looking at the area, maybe moving out there sometime in the future.”

He highly prefers traveling by car.

“When I travel, I don’t like to just stay in groups with people,” Morgan said.

AAA projects only about 15 million trips by plane this summer, down from 58 million in 2019. That’s a 74 percent decline year-over-year.

“But now, with everything you hear with COVID, I’m definitely not going to change liking groups of people,” Morgan said. “So if I can avoid it, I will.”

And despite airfares going down, Holton elects taking safety precautions.

“Gas is still relatively cheap,” Holton said. “And you have the freedom to move around while keeping your distance from other people. So, I think it’s a good way to go.”

AAA also says about 683 million trips will be taken by car this summer, down 23 million in 2019.