Survey: Rebooking COVID-canceled trips tops travel planning list

Written by
Brooklyn Lowery
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Editor’s Note: This article originally published May 10, 2020. Some information may no longer be up to date.

Much of the world is beginning to emerge from a months-long disruption caused by the unprecedented spread and toll of COVID-19.

One area particularly hard hit by the pandemic was the travel industry. For many people, the spreading coronavirus meant abrupt cancellations to both trips months or years in the making as well as those intended as spur-of-the-moment getaways.

But what does emerging from the pandemic’s lengthy shutdown mean when it comes to how people feel about traveling again? That’s what CardRatings wanted to know with its most recent poll. 

CardRatings conducted a survey April 27-30, 2020, asking whether respondents are currently planning travel, what type they are planning and for when it’s being planned. 

Who is currently planning travel?

Even with states beginning to reopen for business, and with the traditionally busy summer travel season just around the corner, nearly 46% of respondents across all regions of the country say they aren’t currently planning any travel.

Respondents in the Midwest are the most likely to say they aren’t planning travel right now at 47%, though there does not appear to be much difference between areas of the country hard hit by the pandemic vs. those less affected.

What type of travel?

Among respondents who are currently planning travel, 15% say they are rescheduling plans they had to cancel due to the spread of COVID-19.

Just 7% of respondents say they are making all-new travel plans, and 5% say they are planning to complete a trip scheduled prior to the pandemic.

But how will they get there and where will they stay?

Personal vehicle travel is the most popular form of travel with 12.9% of respondents planning to hit the roads; however, in a potential bright spot for hard-hit airlines, travel via commercial flight appears to be about as popular as travel by car with 12.5% of respondents saying they are planning to fly. In the West, commercial flight came out ahead of any other type of travel polled, with 18% of respondents saying they are planning air travel. 

It also appears hotel chains may see their rooms begin to fill soon, with respondents heavily favoring hotel stays over other types of accommodations.

On the converse, Airbnb hosts may have to wait a little longer for their rooms and houses to fill – just 6% of respondents say they’re planning Airbnb/homeshare stays. That number is slightly above the number of respondents who are planning to stay in the homes of family or friends.

Given the negative news early on in the pandemic related to commercial cruise travel, it’s not a surprise that cruise/boat travel came in a distant last place with less than 3% of survey respondents saying they are planning that type of travel; however, among respondents from the northeast, cruise/commericial boat travel is slightly more popular than staying with family/friends, with 3.5% of respondents saying they are planning a cruise/boat travel compared to just 2.8% planning a stay with friends/family.

When are they traveling?

Among respondents who are planning travel, July/August 2020 is the most popular time frame with 15% of respondents planning travel for then; May/June 2020 is the next most popular option at 9%. That means that 24%– nearly a quarter of respondents – are planning to travel this summer.

Brooklyn Lowery
Editor & Credit Card Expert

A journalist for nearly 20 years, Brooklyn has published work on a broad range of topics including personal finance and business as well as travel and human interest pieces. As a finance expert, she has provided commentary on credit cards, card rewards and personal finance...Read more

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