Car trips will make up 97 percent of the 700 million estimated summer getaways this year, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The number of total trips expected is down nearly 15 percent compared to last July through September and is the first decline in summer travel since 2009.

Car travel will see the smallest decrease in volume of just three percent year-over-year. Air travel is expected to be down by about 74 percent, while rail, cruise ship and bus travel is expected to decrease by 86 percent.

The AAA says, were it not for the pandemic, it would be projecting 857 million trips during the third quarter, a 3.6 percent increase over last year. By this analysis, the pandemic wiped out nearly 150 million person-trips this summer.

“Americans will get out and explore this summer though they’re taking a ‘wait and see approach’ when it comes to booking and are likely to book more long weekend getaways than extended vacations,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s Senior Vice President of Travel. “When they do venture out, travelers will take to the road with 683 million car trips to satisfy their wanderlust.”

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