Holiday travelers decide whether it’s safe to continue traditions

WATCH: Holiday travelers weigh safety options

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For Joseph Martinez, visiting family for Thanksgiving was never in question.

“No I was going to come home for sure,” Martinez said.

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Martinez is a freshman at Ole Miss and home is halfway across the country in Los Angeles.

While the CDC advised to avoid travel, Martinez said his family is okay with it.

“Actually my family had me get tested first for COVID before I had to go back home,” Martinez said. “So I got tested. Now I’m fine to go back.”

Life is indeed different in 2020. Daily activities and yearly traditions now take the backseat to social distancing and extra caution.

So, tough decisions are being made this holiday season.

“I think either way it’s a difficult decision to make,” said Melanie O’Neill, Memphis resident.

O’Neill said her family usually gets together in St. Louis for Thanksgiving weekend.

The meet up is now going virtual.

“You know with COVID this year we just thought it was best not to get together in person and thought maybe we would get online on Zoom and stuff,” O’Neill said.

If you do decide to travel, the CDC has a list of guidelines including of course wearing a mask, distancing from those not traveling with you and keeping sanitizer on you.

Even for those driving, the CDC warns of the dangers of rest stops and gas stations.

As for Martinez, he admitted he’ll be a little nervous.

“It’s just in the back of my head honestly,” Martinez said. “When I’m sitting down, once I sit next to the people that I’m going to be sitting with on the flight I’m kind of going to be hesitant at first. But once I sit down I’m sure I’m gonna be fine.”

Tough decisions, second thoughts and in some cases, new traditions as folks like O’Neill make the best of being away.

“It’s something we look forward to every year and lots of extended family to see,” O’Neill said. “But, you know, we’ll probably come up with a new tradition.”