2020 has been a challenging year for many travelers, and now the rich colors of autumn are inspiring more tourists to book fall getaways. With Columbus Day weekend upon us, and many 2020 vacations disrupted due to the pandemic, many people are looking to escape for the long holiday weekend.

Given the unique nature of travel this year with safety, quarantines, and social distancing being prime factors determining destinations, AAA Western and Central New York continues to see travel within New York state grow in popularity.

Last year, fall travel within New York was also common, but was accompanied by thriving international travel, ample Orlando Halloween bookings, and pre-arranged group travel. This year, Orlando remains a desired destination though travel volume is down dramatically from 2109.

Here are the top trends for travel this holiday weekend based on AAA bookings and requests for maps and tour books:

• Wine Trails (Niagara, Chautauqua, Finger Lakes)

• State Parks (Niagara Falls State Park, Letchworth State Park, Watkins Glen State Park, Allegany State Park)

• Adirondacks region

• Finger Lakes

• Vermont (no NYS quarantine in effect as of Wednesday)

• New Hampshire (no NYS quarantine in effect as of Wednesday)

Even if traditional fall festivals are not taking place in 2020, adventure seekers can safely take part in activities like apple picking, visiting pumpkin patches, touring wine trails and more. To predict the best time to view fall foliage, AAA WCNY recommends Leafpeepers or I Love New York websites.

With road trips being the most popular form of travel, motorists will be pleased that gas prices remain low. On Wednesday, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.18, down 47 cents from last year. The New York State average is $2.26.

This year, amid the pandemic, planning is more important than ever, and travelers should remember to wear their masks, pack hand sanitizer and remain socially distant. Learn more at www.AAA.com/Travel.

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