LAST UPDATE: DEC. 1, 2021

Tracking the Return to Normal: Travel

Morning Consult is tracking how safe Americans feel traveling in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
By: Alyssa Meyers

 

This tracker is part of a series from Morning Consult gauging when consumers will return to normal activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and sign up for alerts.

When the pandemic first hit the United States last year, the travel industry ground to a halt. Now, after positive signs of recovery and Americans traveling again, concerns over the coronavirus’ delta variant are rising, and all eyes will remain on consumers’ comfort related to travel heading into the fall.

Morning Consult is tracking pent-up demand and excitement for many of the activities listed on this page. Bookmark this page for weekly updates of these figures, and read our Summer Travel Series, which dives into Americans’ and Europeans’ appetites for travel, how they’re planning their trips and much more.

KEY TRENDS

  • Comfort With Vacationing Falls: 57% of Americans said they are comfortable going on vacation as of a Nov. 29-30 survey, down 4 percentage points from the previous week to match where it was in early October. The survey was Morning Consult’s first to be conducted since media reports of the omicron variant first surfaced.
  • Americans Are Less Comfortable With All Methods of Travel Than They Were Last Week: Comfort with all methods of transportation tracked by Morning Consult ticked down as of the first post-omicron survey. Some, such as flying internationally and renting cars, had reached record highs earlier in the fall. 
  • Comfort With Hotels, Airbnbs Falls Back to September Levels: As with vacationing and traveling via cars, planes, trains and buses, Americans’ comfort with staying at multiple accommodations dipped as of the end of November. Comfort with major hotel chains fell 4 points from 57% to 53%. Comfort with boutique hotels fell the most from 51% to 45%, and comfort with home-sharing dipped slightly from 43% to 41%. That’s all roughly in line with comfort levels as of mid-September surveys. 

Americans' Comfort Going on Vacation
The share of respondents who said they feel comfortable going on vacation right now:
Weekly surveys are conducted among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults and have a margin of error of +/-2%.

Comfort With Various Methods of Transportation
The share of adults who said they feel comfortable doing the following activities right now:
Weekly surveys are conducted among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults and have a margin of error of +/-2%.

Comfort With Travel Accommodations
The share of adults who said they feel comfortable staying at the following accommodations right now:
Weekly surveys are conducted among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults and have a margin of error of +/-2%.

Tracking the Return to Normal

When will things return to normal and what will our new normal look like? It’s a question that business, economic and government leaders are grappling with as more and more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

To help answer this complicated question, Morning Consult is tracking how consumer attitudes are shifting across a wide range of categories, from travel to entertainment to dining, to gain greater insight into not only when consumers will be ready to return to their normal activities, but how their habits will be forever changed. We’ll be updating these pages every week with new data and analyses. Sign up for alerts below.

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