The line of cars heading over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house will be a lot shorter this Thanksgiving, according to AAA Chicago.

Given the pandemic we're dealing with, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that more people will be staying put over Thanksgiving (health experts have been advising that for months at this point), but the fall-off in travel from previous years is noteworthy.

Molly Hart, spokesperson for AAA  Auto Club Group:

AAA acknowledges that the decision to travel is a personal one. The CDC says staying home is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19. For those who still decide to travel, we urge you to take every precaution possible to protect yourself and others.

My family has been pretty lucky over the last number of years, because our house is the destination rather than the launching point. We haven't had to plan out holiday travel to see family since the kids were very young, and even then, our trips were by car within a 50 mile radius.

Travel by car seems to be the way most Illinoisans (and the country as a whole) plan on going about visiting family on Thanksgiving, but this years car-travelers will be significantly less than the last five years. 2.34 million Illinois residents are planning a car trip for Thanksgiving, which is down 4.3% from last year. Other forms of travel, such as air travel and bus or train travel are expected to be down 51% and 76% respectively.

 

Illinois Thanksgiving Travel Volumes

Total

Automobile

Air

Other
(Bus, Train, Cruise)

2020

2.48M

2.34M

122,097

17,427

2019

2.91M

2.58M

253,584

75,544

Change

-14.8%

-9.3%

-51.9

-76.1%

Lowest since

2014

2016

2009

Lowest on record

Here's the United States as a whole:

U.S. Thanksgiving Travel Volumes

Total

Automobile

Air

Other
(Bus, Train, Cruise)

2020

50.6M

47.8M

2.4M

353,000

2019

56M

49.9M

4.58M

1.5M

Change

-9.7%

-4.3%

-47.5%

-76.2%

Lowest since

2016

2017

2009

Lowest on record