Pandemic fatigue increased travel interest for 45%, says The Vacationer’s survey

The holiday season is upon us. Many people would normally be preparing for their typical family travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In The Vacationer’s 2020 holiday travel survey, we sought out to see how the ongoing pandemic will impact the holidays. As new lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions are implemented, are families still planning to travel and vacation for the holidays? Is Pandemic Fatigue setting in? Do people feel safe on airplanes?

The survey (full census) included 553 American adults over the age of 18 and was conducted online using SurveyMonkey‘s interface on our behalf on November 14, 2020. Eric Jones, a Mathematics Instructor at Rowan College at Gloucester County analyzed the survey. They sought to analyze travel plans for American adults this holiday season with the second wave of COVID-19 starting. They also asked if pandemic fatigue is increasing interest in travel this holiday season.

Here are the findings with a few key stats:

1. Do you plan on traveling to a vacation destination or gathering (car, bus, train, airplane, etc.) during the holidays this year?

  • Thanksgiving – 12.30%
  • Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa – 16.46%
  • Both – 17.00%
  • No – 54.25%

Demographic Comparison: 34.40% of people aged 18-29 said no, while 69.72% of people over 60 said no.
Key Takeaway: An astonishing 45% of people intend to travel and take part in holiday gatherings despite tightening COVID-19 restrictions

2. Has the pandemic canceled or changed your travel plans (destination, gathering volume/type, mode of travel, etc.) for the holidays this year?

  • Yes – 61.05%
  • No – 24.82%
  • Waiting to See – 14.13%

Demographic Comparison: 80% of respondents from the New England region said yes, which coincides with tighter lockdowns in that area.
Key Takeaway: At least 61% of people have already had their holiday plans canceled or changed due to the pandemic. This number could balloon to 75% as 14% of people are still waiting to see if their plans will be canceled or changed.

3. Has Pandemic Fatigue increased your interest in traveling for the holidays (whether you actually will or not)?

  • Yes – 45.01%
  • No – 54.99%

Demographic Comparison: Pandemic Fatigue increases as the age of respondents decreases. Overall, 54.03% of people aged 18-29 had Pandemic Fatigue, while 29.79% of people over 60 had Pandemic Fatigue.
Key Takeaway: Despite another wave of COVID-19, over 45% of people say Pandemic Fatigue has increased their interest in traveling for the holidays. Based on the current census, this means nearly 115 million adults are more interested in traveling for the holidays due to Pandemic Fatigue.

4. Are you more or less likely to go on a vacation or travel to see family compared to March/April?

  • More Likely – 23.77%
  • Less Likely – 45.37%
  • About the Same – 30.85%

Demographic Comparison: Only 14.79% of people over age 60 are more likely to travel than in March or April. However, 26.61% of Americans aged 18-29 are more likely to travel.
Key Takeaway: Despite Pandemic Fatigue increasing interest in traveling for 45% of the population, only 23.77% of Americans are actually more likely to vacation or travel compared to March or April. This means even though nearly 116 million people have more interest in traveling, only about 61 million people are more likely to do so.

5. Do you feel safe traveling on an airplane for the holidays?

  • Yes, I am flying on an airplane for the holidays this year. – 12.00%
  • Yes, but I am not flying on an airplane for the holidays this year. – 24.36%
  • No, but I am still flying on an airplane for the holidays this year. – 6.00%
  • No, I am not flying on an airplane for the holidays this year. – 57.64%

Demographic Comparison: While 41.47% of men would feel safe on an airplane, only 31.85% of women would.
Key Takeaway: Less than 37% of people feel safe traveling on an airplane for the holidays. This is surprisingly low since the CDC recently said most viruses do not spread easily on flights due to the way air is circulated.