Despite COVID-19 pandemic putting many normal aspects of life on hold, a new survey has revealed a strong willingness to travel during 2020 among Americans nonetheless.
According to a survey of 746 U.S.-based respondents, 72% of Americans still plan on traveling in 2020, while 91% are more likely to travel domestically than internationally. The latter finding reflects not only travelers’ preferences, but necessity, given the current bans on American visitors in the European Union and worldwide due to the ongoing surge of coronavirus cases in the U.S.
However, of those who prefer to travel domestically, 59% stated that they would not have traveled internationally even in the absence of the COVID-19 crisis. Meanwhile, 64% said COVID-19 has impacted their financial ability to travel in the near future.
The data on domestic travel aligns with separate research published in June which found that 46 million Americans plan to take a recreational vehicle (RV) trip in the next 12 months, up from 25 million in 2019.
At the same time, respondents of the survey identified road trips as the fourth-most popular holiday option for this winter, exceeded by their interest in beach/resort, camping, and skiing trips. The rest of the top 10 holiday preferences including partying, yoga retreats, backpacking, city breaks, safaris, and cruises.
Where in the U.S. might travelers visit in these times? Vermont, Oregon, Maine, Wyoming, and Colorado were the top five states which respondents named as their most likely destination this winter. Hawaii, Nevada, California, South Carolina, and Utah also made it into the top 10.
In fact, a number of those states have the lowest rates of COVID-19 deaths in the country — particularly Hawaii (only two deaths per 100,000 residents), Wyoming (four per 100,000 residents), Oregon (six per 100,000), Utah (eight per 100,000), Vermont (nine per 100,000), Maine (nine per 100,000). Accordingly, it seems that travelers are likely to research the situation surrounding the virus in any state or region before finalizing their holiday plans.
But how soon might a greater number of Americans actually begin travelling out of town? Only 14% would travel domestically or internationally “right now,” with 41% expressing the willingness to travel as soon as restrictions are eased and 35% saying they would not take the trip until a vaccine is available.
Ultimately, despite the rise in virus cases amid states’ phased reopening and fears of a “second wave” of COVID-19, Americans are strongly affirming that they are ready to travel again — at least domestically.