After a year at home, nearly all U.S. travelers plan to take a trip in 2021. Yes, you read that correctly. In a survey of more than 3,200 TripIt users based in the U.S., 94 percent of respondents said they plan to travel in 2021. We expect to make it back (a trip we postponed last year) to Jamaica, pending any changes and a spike there. Are you planning on traveling this year? If so, let us know more about it below in the comments.
Americans’ pent-up travel aspirations very well may lead to a (domestic) summer travel resurgence. But how travelers decide to make their domestic treks is still up in the air. Our survey data show that air travel readiness in 2021 is steadily increasing—yet, many Americans are planning a road trip for summer’s three biggest holidays (that is, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day).
Looking ahead to June, traveler readiness to fly steadily increases for both domestic and international flights. By then, 52 percent of travelers said they’d be ready for a domestic flight and 25 percent indicated that they’d be ready to take an international flight.
To improve the planning process, users of TripIt Pro—TripIt’s premium service—will now be able to search for the latest COVID-19 travel guidance by destination before they book a trip. They’ll have access to key information—updated daily from our partner Riskline—for more than 200 countries and territories, so they can see infection rates, testing requirements, mask mandates, entry/exit rules, and more.
This builds on other health and safety tools introduced by TripIt over the past year. It also comes just one month after launching the COVID-19 travel guidance feature for all TripIt users, which provides travelers with destination-specific guidance for upcoming trips they’ve booked.
Vaccines are building traveler confidence—but actual vaccinations matter, too
59 percent of travelers said news about the progress of the vaccine made them more likely to book travel. Just 8 percent of travelers said a vaccine would not change their willingness to travel.
However, while vaccine efficacy and approval has given travelers a boost in confidence, we know that for many it will ultimately come down to shots in arms. 35 percent of travelers said they will wait to fly again until they get vaccinated.
The prospect of some type of digital health passport that provides proof that you’ve been vaccinated appeals to 81 percent of travelers. Those travelers said they’d be willing to use a digital health passport if it meant they could travel freely.
Airline and airport procedures help build confidence
54 percent of travelers said airlines having procedures in place to reduce infection spread, such as mask requirements, reduced capacity on flights, sanitation procedures, and temperature checks, contribute to their confidence in returning to air travel.
In addition, 50 percent of travelers said airport procedures—that is, social distancing guidelines, touchless check-in procedures, mask requirements, and sanitation procedures—help them feel more comfortable taking a flight.
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