Many Americans Have One Destination In Mind When They Start Traveling
One of the outstanding questions for the travel industry is when people will be ready to travel again. As airlines move to require face masks on planes and promote social distancing, are Americans warming up to the idea of flying? According to a new survey, a majority of Americans have one destination in mind when they start traveling: visiting friends or family. In potential bad news for the travel industry, most of those surveyed said they planned to drive. And international travel is not on the minds of almost any of them for their first trip.
The survey conducted by Longwoods International found that 52% of Americans planning their first trip when it is appropriate plan to travel domestically to visit friends and family. The result makes sense when you consider that many have been separated from family for two months or more. Seventy percent of those surveyed plan on traveling within the next six months.
International trips are largely out of the question, with only 4% of those surveyed saying their first trip planned will be international. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said they plan on taking a trip domestically. That is also not entirely shocking, given the uncertainty with international travel restrictions.
Perhaps the worst news out of this for airlines is how these Americans intend to get to their destination. Of those surveyed, 76% plan on driving, while only 24% plan on flying. Of course, this is only for their first planned trip. And given that a majority plan to travel within 200 miles (52%), it makes sense that their preference leans toward driving over flying. But the survey does show where Americans’ priorities are with travel as people are able to move freely again.
The survey was conducted April 29, 2020 on 1,000 American adults. The survey used quotas from U.S. Census data to ensure broad representation of the U.S. population.
Americans are planning on getting back to travel in the next six months. Overall, Americans are planning domestic and relatively local trips to visit family and friends. Personally, my first trip planned is to do just that: visit family about 25o miles away. Perhaps a good thing that will come out of this for all of us is putting a little more value in those we love. At a time where many can’t even see their parents, it’s a stark reminder of how lucky we can be to have people around who love us. It also might serve as a reminder of the beautiful destinations one can visit domestically.