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Survey: Traveling and Entertainment in 2020 Amid COVID-19 Part I ⁠— General Travel

Eric Jones
COVID Traveling 2020 Survey

Billions of people around the world have had their lives drastically changed due to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes hundreds of millions of Americans. Nearly every US state has had some sort of state at home order, entertainment closures or restrictions on travel. We sought out to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on traveling and event comfort in 2020, vacation plans, financial stability to travel and consumer risk assessment. Here are the results.

Note: This is part I of our survey about traveling and entertainment in 2020 amid COVID-19. Read the entire sequence:

Part I: General Travel
Part II: Flying & Accommodations
Part III: Events & Vacation Locations

Travel Comfort 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • Right Now — 19.04%
  • 3 to 6 Months — 38.77%
  • In 1 Year — 18.01%
  • In 1 to 2 or More Years — 7.38%
  • Not Until There’s a Vaccine or Cure for COVID-19 — 16.81%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — Of the people sampled in this survey, a larger percentage of male respondents said they were comfortable traveling right now compared to women. The data shows that 22.71% of men are comfortable with traveling right now while only 16.27% of women are.

Key TakeawayNearly 58% of people would be comfortable traveling in the next 6 months. This includes the 19.04% of people that would travel right now and the 38.77% of people that said they would be comfortable traveling in 3 to 6 months. A total of 16.81% of people said they would not travel again until there was a vaccine or cure for COVID-19.

If the COVID-19 pandemic never happened, when would your next vacation have been scheduled?

Vacation Schedule 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • May 2020 – August 2020 — 59.86%
  • September 2020 – December 2020 — 18.35%
  • January 2021 – April 2021 — 6.17%
  • May 2021 – August 2021 — 6.86%
  • September 2021 – December 2021 — 4.12%
  • January 2022 or Later — 4.63%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — Perhaps not a surprise, the youngest and the oldest age group had the most vacations planned for this summer. That is 64.71% of respondents aged 18-29 and 64.20% of respondents over 60 had vacations lined up between now and August before COVID-19. None of the age groups in between had more than 58% planning a trip this summer.

Key takeaway — Almost 60% of people had a vacation scheduled between now and August. This means more than half of all Americans were planning to travel this summer. This is a hefty figure considering the current traveling climate within the country. Keep reading to the next question to see how the plans of the average American have changed since COVID-19 changed everything.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading, when do you think your next vacation will be?

Vacation Schedule COVID 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • May 2020 – August 2020 — 13.21%
  • September 2020 – December 2020 — 20.41%
  • January 2021 – April 2021 — 14.58%
  • May 2021 – August 2021 — 26.76%
  • September 2021 – December 2021 — 9.95%
  • January 2022 or Later — 15.09%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — Above we mentioned that the youngest and oldest age groups had the most vacations planned for Summer 2020. Despite this, the middle age groups still plan to travel more between now and August 2020 with pandemic still spreading. The age groups of 30-44 and 45-60 are more committed to their vacations this year. In the previous question we showed that that age groups of 18-29 and 60 and over were 6 to 12% more likely to have planned a vacation for this summer than the age groups of 30-44 and 45-60. However, due to the coronavirus, these same age groups are 3 to 5% less likely to think they’ll vacation this summer. We think it’s likely that the 30 to 60 age group are more likely to be locked into work and if they don’t vacation this summer, they will have to wait until next year.

Key Takeaway — Only 33.62% of people think their next vacation will be in 2020. This is nearly a 50% reduction caused by COVID-19 from the 59.86% of people that had planned to vacation before the end of August 2020. Interestingly, 15.09% of people, an increase of 10.46%, think they will not travel again until 2022 or beyond.

Has COVID-19 impacted your financial ability to travel or vacation in the near future?

Financial Ability to Travel 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • Yes — 53.69%
  • No — 46.31%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — At least 58% of all people that make $75k or less say that COVID-19 has impacted their ability to travel or vacation in the near future. At least 66% of people making less then $25k have said the same. This should come as no surprise as those making less have less opportunity to travel. Meanwhile, only 26.32% of people making $200k or more said that the pandemic has impacted their financial ability to travel.

Key Takeaway — Nearly half of people may not be able to travel in the near future due to COVID-19. Coronavirus has put a financial burden on a large portion of America and now 46.31% are specifically saying it will impact their ability to travel in the near future. This will have a substantial impact on the travel sector.

Would you risk traveling to a place you love with COVID-19 still expanding in some areas?

Risk Traveling 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • Yes — 31.39%
  • No — 68.61%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — Almost 9% more men than women said they would risk traveling to a place they love with COVID-19 still expanding. Collectively, 36.25% of all men said they’d be willing to risk it and travel to a a place they love with coronavirus spreading while only 27.71% of women said they would.

Key Takeaway — 31.39% of respondents said they will risk it and go to a place they love despite COVID-19 expanding in those areas. It is pretty astounding that nearly 1/3 of people say they will risk the coronavirus to travel somewhere they love. That means 1/3 of people are willing to risk an increased chance of contracting COVID-19 to travel to a place that they love!

When allowed, how soon would you feel comfortable traveling internationally?

Traveling Internationally During COVID-19 2020 Survey

Photo: Eric Jones screenshot via SurveyMonkey

Let’s take a look at the survey results:

  • Immediately — 12.52%
  • 3-6 months to monitor a potential second wave of COVID-19 — 31.22%
  • 1 Year — 27.96%
  • 2 Years or More — 28.30%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — Almost 5% more men than women are prepared to travel internationally as soon as they are allowed. This continues the trend above of men being more risky than women.

Key Takeaway — More than 56% of people plan to wait at least one year to travel internationally when they are allowed with many people planning to wait at least two years. This data is a combination of the 27.96% of people that said they’d wait at least one year and the 28.3% of people that said they would wait two years or more to travel internationally. Only 12.52% of people said they would feel comfortable traveling internationally immediately when given the all clear.

Survey Methodology

This Traveling and Entertainment in 2020 Amid COVID-19 Survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of The Vacationer. You have just read part I of the series focusing on General Traveling (See part II on Flying & Accommodations here and part III on Events & Vacation Locations here). In total, 583 Americans over the age of 18 were polled on May 17. The demographics of those surveyed include 43.05% male and 56.95% female. The age breakdown of participants included in this survey were 26.24% in the range 18-29, 20.93% in the range 30-44, 38.94% in the range 45-60 and 13.89% over 60. This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of ±4.142%. In addition, you can learn more about SurveyMonkey’s sampling method by clicking here.

The questions were chosen and the results were analyzed by the post author, Eric Jones, who is a Mathematics and Statistics Professor at Rowan College South Jersey.

Featured Image via Pixabay

Eric Jones Mediterranean Cruise

By Eric Jones

Eric Jones is the co-founder and head of operations of The Vacationer. He uses his background in mathematics as a professor at Rowan College South Jersey to conduct statistical studies and surveys on traveling and vacations. Having traveled to 48 states and over 30 countries, Eric is well-equipped to recommend travel destinations and new adventures to those seeking lifetime experiences.