Summer travel back on for many Americans as they put the pandemic in rear view mirror

After a long hard year fighting the coronavirus, a new May TIPP Poll shows that many Americans are optimistic about traveling this summer now that 40 percent or more are vaccinated and travel restrictions are being lifted.

The TIPP poll spoke with over 1,300 Americans and asked them: “Thinking about travel, have you restricted or avoided making travel plans this summer because of Covid-19?”

The overall responses were uplifting regarding Americans rebounding and deciding to hit the road during the summer. A majority of 74 percent say that they will not avoid traveling and 40 percent claim they already have plans in place to take a trip. There are still some people though that are hesitant to travel because of the pandemic.

Those that say they will not avoid traveling are still being cautious with 31 percent restricting their travel plans while 43 percent said their trips would not be affected by the pandemic.

The poll showed that 26 percent will avoid traveling and will instead opt to stay home. There was no specific demographic based on income, age, gender, race, or political persuasion that stood out among those staying home.

Interestingly, the numbers that apply to those abstaining from traveling are aligned with those that claim to be anti-vaxxers. The poll indicated that 10 percent of those avoiding travel do not plan on getting inoculated any time soon. A further 16 percent contend they won’t get vaccinated at all.

Although Americans seem to be more than ready to hit the road this summer, recovery for the nation following the pandemic is likely to take a long time. AAA and other travel organizations are reporting that approximately half of Americans traveled during the summer of 2019. That was not the case in 2020 as the virus took hold across the globe.

Individuals taking part in the poll were asked: “Do you plan to travel between June through August for either business or vacation purposes?”

A healthy 40 percent said they were. But 26 percent had no plans and another 26 percent once again said they would avoid traveling because of the virus.

Breaking down the 40 percent who are traveling is interesting as well: 26 percent are going on vacation, while 6 percent are traveling for business. There are those individuals who plan to do both – that came out to 9 percent of the total.

The enthusiasm for travel is apparent in the poll numbers for most Americans. It’s an encouraging sign for tourism and business. The U.S. Travel Association notes that 2.7 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product is directly attributable to tourism and travel. Americans spent approximately $101 billion on vacations during the summer just before COVID-19 hit.

The travel industry is also going local with “Explore Your Backyard” as they nudge people to get out and travel even if it is just a short distance. People seem to prefer at the moment exploring near their homes while still distancing themselves from crowds.

Participants in the poll were also asked: “Which of the following modes will you use to get to your destination?”

The respondents were fairly predictable. Car travel is still the most popular at 75 percent followed by air travel at 42 percent. Other options are quite a bit further down the scale of preferability.

Traveling by plane is problematic for many people these days due to virus concerns and heavy-handed regulations. Not to mention the cost. On the other hand, private plane charter businesses are experiencing a boom in this market. Camping is making a serious comeback as well.

There is no arguing that the tourism, travel, and vacation industries have suffered massive losses due to the pandemic and imposed restrictions. The uptick in travel is eagerly anticipated to help mitigate their losses.

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