AAA expects the majority Labor Day travelers to take a road trip

31 August 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic can be confusing for travelers. As North Dakotans look to Labor Day and the upcoming autumn and holiday seasons, many are questioning how the pandemic will affect the various elements of their trips.

In addition to its expert team of travel advisors who are able to help travelers make their travel plans with confidence, AAA has also rolled out a variety of free resources to give travelers some peace-of-mind.

Travel Resources

  • AAA’s Covid-19 Travel Restrictions Map provides updated COVID-related travel restrictions, checkpoints and closures.
  • AAA TripTiks help map your route and locate open gas stations, hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, auto repair facilities, attractions and more.
  • AAA Mobile App is free to download for “on the go” access to all the resources listed above including COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • AAA’s Best of Housekeeping highlights AAA Diamond designated hotels that are recognized for implementing the highest cleaning standards.

Road Trip Tips

  • Prep your vehicle. Ensure your vehicle is road-trip ready. Some vehicles may have sat unused for months and should be inspected.
  • Plan stops. Destinations and businesses may have adjusted their hours of operation.
  • Pack cleaning supplies and face coverings. Some regions have ordinances requiring the use of masks. 
  • Pack food and water. This could reduce the number of times you need to go to the store.
  • Pull out of the traffic lanes if your car breaks down. If faced with a vehicle emergency, safely steer your car off the roadway. Turn on the emergency flashers to alert other drivers and exit the vehicle on the side facing away from traffic if possible. Once everyone is in a safe location, request assistance from a road service provider.

Staying in a Hotel

  • Call ahead. Ask about any restrictions or changes to amenities and the check-in process. Inquire about their cleaning protocols.
  • Understand cancellation policies. Hotel cancellation policies can vary based on when you booked, what site you used, and whether the booking was for a special rate.
  • Bring cleaning supplies. While many hoteliers are implementing enhanced cleaning protocols, personally sanitizing high-touch areas may provide additional peace-of-mind.

Safe Travels

With an influx of drivers expected for Labor Day weekend, it’s critical travelers make safe decisions while behind the wheel. These simple steps can prevent the most common fatal accidents:

  • Impaired driving accounts for near one-third of all traffic fatalities. Be sure to arrange a safe ride home before the first drink.
  • Speeding typically accounts for one-third of all traffic fatalities. Adhere to speed limits, leave early so you’re not in a hurry and reduce your speed for bad weather or other hazardous road conditions
  • Distraction is responsible for nine percent of fatal crashes. Drivers are 8x more likely to crash when texting; Put your phone down, program your GPS before driving, and secure loose items in the car.
  • Seat Belts save lives. Nearly half of people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017 were not wearing their seat belts. Ensure the driver and all passengers buckle-up; this includes children being secured in age and size-appropriate child seats.

Labor Day Gas

Low gas prices continue to make road trips an affordable option for travelers. North Dakota motorists will pay the lowest Labor Day gas prices in 16 years. The statewide average price for gasoline is $2.11 per gallon. That’s 46 cents per gallon less than what North Dakota drivers paid on Labor Day 2019 ($2.57).

The fuel supply chain was mostly unaffected by Hurricane Laura. Gasoline futures and wholesale prices have also drifted lower since the storm passed. While it is possible drivers could see an uptick at the pump in the coming days, gas prices are forecast to remain lower than last year, because of the pandemic’s limiting effect on fuel demand.

About AAA - The Auto Club Group

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.