Summer travel plans despite the coronavirus

The coronavirus isn’t stopping people from planning vacations this summer — if it’s allowed. Here's who wants to get out the most.

The author(s)
  • Kate MacArthur Managing Editor of What the Future
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As summer vacation season quickly approaches, more Americans are dreaming up travel plans in anticipation of the country reopening. Four in ten Americans say they plan to travel this summer, if allowed, while 38% say they won’t, according to the latest Ipsos Coronavirus Consumer Tracker survey.

The idea of going anywhere is much more appealing to younger adults.

  • Those under age 35 are more likely (46%) than older adults (37%) to plan a summer vacation.
  • Besides age, employment is a big factor. Nearly half of those employed full time (48%) say they plan a summer trip.
  • But less than a third of unemployed (32%) and retired people (34%) expect to go anywhere.

Another factor is marital status. Married people are more inclined to make travel plans, assuming they’re allowed.

  • Among this group, 47% say they plan to travel while 36% of unmarried people agree.
  • There’s a similar pattern for people with kids (47%) and without (39%). Given how many families are facing extreme togetherness at home doing work, school, and everything else, it’s not surprising they want to get away.

For many, it’s less a question of “should I stay, or should I go” than it is “where to?” For some, a cruise is just the ticket, according to one cruise planning firm who said Carnival August bookings were up 600%. How much of that is wishful thinking or trying to get a leg up on rates and availability is anyone’s guess.

But people’s wanderlust is a significant shift from just a month ago.

  • Less than a third of people (32%) said they will plan a driving trip to a rural or vacation destination in the U.S. if the government lifted stay-at-home bans in their area.
  • Just 27% said they would plan to drive to an urban U.S. destination.
  • Only 19% said they would fly to an urban, rural or scenic destination in America.
  • Half of Americans at that time said they will be afraid to travel internationally for quite some time.

It doesn’t help that infection rates, state and country travel bans and stay-at-home orders are a moving target. So it’s no surprise that about a third of Americans say they’re already changing (31%) or canceling plans for travel this fall (36%).

But one thing is for sure, most people are itching to get out of the house. Fewer people are self-quarantining, down to 36% from a high of 55% in early April, according to the ninth week of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index. And more people are visiting friends and family, up to 32% from 19% in mid-April.

The author(s)
  • Kate MacArthur Managing Editor of What the Future