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AAA Celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week in a COVID-19 World

Explore Your Safe Return to Travel May 2-8,2021

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (May 3, 2021) – This week marks the annual celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) and the contributions of the U.S. travel industry nationwide. At AAA, we know that traveling is a very personal decision, and while we encourage everyone to follow CDC guidelines and take all safety precautions, many people are anxious to start traveling now.


NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to elevate the economic power of travel in the U.S. This year, it’s important to recognize travel’s importance to the U.S. economy as we move toward post-pandemic recovery. According the U.S. Travel Association, travel supported nearly 17 million jobs and generated $2.6 trillion in economic output in 2019. A year later, 5.6 million jobs were lost and economic output fell 42%. The outlook for travel in 2021 is still uncertain but is beginning to rebound.


 Travel has been transformed by COVID-19. Travel agents know the latest restrictions and can help you navigate the requirements of your destination and plan travel insurance to protect your investment. As more people become fully vaccinated and pandemic restrictions are relaxed across the country, many Americans are ready to go – anywhere. AAA employees are busy helping people plan everything from one-tank road trips across Virginia to all-inclusive getaways in the Caribbean. But remember, AAA Travel experts advise would-be travelers that things will look very different than the last time many took a vacation.


Know Before You Go

“Travel has been transformed by COVID-19, making it more important than ever to talk with a professional travel agent,” said Holly Dalby, director of public affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia. “Restrictions are changing quickly right now, and travel agents know the latest regulations and restrictions. They can help you navigate requirements of your destination, COVID-19 testing needed to return to the U.S. and travel insurance to help protect your investment.”


The Great American Road Trip

Many people planning a 2021 vacation are looking to the iconic American Road Trip as their preferred way to travel. “Road trips can limit your exposure to others and give you the flexibility to adjust your plans when you come across a closed attraction or encounter unfavorable weather,” said Dalby.


If traveling by car, refer to AAA’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and for the latest state and local travel restrictions. Travelers can also identify which rest stops, gas stations, restaurants and hotels are open along their routes.


Cruising and International Travel

More and more people are beginning to fly and looking at cruises and international destinations. The CDC notes that international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated people are at an increased risk of contracting and possibly spreading COVID-19. The COVID-19 situation differs from country to country, so travelers must pay close attention to the situation at their destination. Similarly, cruise lines have different requirements and restrictions in place, so research this carefully to prepare before sailing. A AAA Travel Agent can assist you.


What To Expect

  • Masks – Face coverings over mouth and nose are required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation and in transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Many states and localities also require masks in all indoor public spaces.
  • Hotels – Call ahead to ask what precautions they are taking to protect guests, and visit to see hotels and restaurants visited and rated by AAA inspectors. Travelers can also search for hotels with AAA’s Best of Housekeeping designation - the top 25% of AAA-inspected properties in terms of cleanliness with zero member complaints on housekeeping or condition in the last 12 months.
  • Air – In-flight amenities, including food and beverage services, may be limited or unavailable. TSA now allows one oversized liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags, rather than limiting those to 3.4 ounces.
  • International Air Travel – All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID‑19 before they board a flight to the United States.
  • Cruise – Many cruise lines continue to suspend sailings further into 2021, and others are offering sailings only for people fully vaccinated. Anyone considering a cruise should talk to a travel agent about the ship’s restrictions and cancelation policy.
  • Vaccinations – Travelers who have received their COVID-19 vaccines should carry their vaccination cards, or photos of them on their smartphones. While “Vaccine Passports” are being hotly debated by governments right now, it’s best to have proof available if asked to prove vaccination status to board a cruise ship, enter a venue or go through Customs in another country.


To find a travel agent or for more information, visit


As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 350,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at or Facebook at

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AAA Tidewater Virginia is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the Tidewater Virginia region (All Hampton Roads cities, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg; Virginia's Eastern Shore; as well as the following counties: Greensville, Surry, Brunswick, Isle of Wight, Gloucester, Lancaster, Middlesex, Richmond County, Southampton, Sussex, Mecklenburg, James City County, York, Lunenburg, Essex, King & Queen, Mathews, Northumberland, and Westmoreland).