Survey: 85% of Americans optimistic about traveling this year

After conducting a survey on travel sentiment earlier this year, IPX 1031 revisited the topic six months later to see how feelings toward travel have changed now that vaccines have been rolled out and many restrictions have been lifted across the country.

According to respondents, Americans are feeling even more optimistic about traveling than they were earlier this year. When the 2021 Vacation Survey was conducted in January, less than half (48%) were optimistic about traveling this year, but now optimism has increased to 85%.

Along with an increase in travel optimism, the recent survey also shows an increase in Americans making travel plans this year. According to respondents, 75% plan to travel this year, which is up from 58% in January.

Not only are respondents planning on taking a vacation this year, but more than half (55%) have already booked their trips.

When are Americans planning to travel in 2021? According to respondents, more than one-third plan to take a trip this summer, while 39% say they will vacation either this fall or during the winter. Only 12% of respondents say they “aren’t sure” when their next vacation will be.

Of those who plan to travel, 71% say they’ll stay within the U.S., 17% plan to travel abroad and 12% say they’ll travel both domestically and internationally.

Respondents say they have an average of 2.5 trips planned for 2021 with the average length of their trips lasting about four days.

Among those who plan to vacation this year, 44% say they expect to spend more money on their trip than they normally would spend. Overall, 59% of respondents say they have budgeted $2,000 or more for a trip this year and a majority (67%) have been saving up within the last six months.

With an increase in remote and hybrid work, vacation homeowners have been spending a lot more time at their properties within the last year. In fact, among vacation homeowners, 84% say they’ve been spending more time at their property.

Hotels have also seen an increase in customers as travel restrictions ease throughout the country. According to respondents, 38% say they prefer to stay in a hotel when vacationing this year, 16% prefer a short-term rental such as Airbnb or VRBO and 14% prefer a vacation home or timeshare.

When travelers asked whether they felt safe being on an airplane in January, less than half (48%) said they felt comfortable boarding a flight. When asked the same question in June, that number increased to 71%. Overall, more than half (55%) believe that travel will fully return without any restrictions by the end of the year.

Vaccines have played a large factor in how and when Americans will travel. According to respondents, 75% say they are either already vaccinated or plan to travel after they receive the vaccine.

After a long year of quarantine and travel restrictions, many Americans left paid time off (PTO) on the table. In fact, 57% say they had unused PTO last year and nearly half (48%) say they haven’t taken a vacation in more than one year.

From June 21-24, IPX 1031 surveyed 1,497 Americans between the ages of 18-76 with a median age of 38. According to respondents, 63% had taken a vacation since March 2020, which was up from 40% from the January 2021 survey. The average age of respondents was 38 years old.