Postponed by pandemic: Only 27% of Americans have taken a vacation during COVID-19

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A sign in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Thursday, June 18, 2020, asks people to maintain social distancing on the beach. People are flocking to South Carolina’s beaches for vacation after being cooped up by COVID-19 for months. But the virus is taking no vacation as the state has rocketed into the top five in the country in cases divided by population. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Concerns continue to loom over the risks of contracting COVID-19 and for some, the risks are just too great to take the annual planned vacation.

But just how many Americans changed or outright canceled their vacation plans due to the virus?

A recent study by IPX 1031, a Fidelity National Financial company, surveyed 2,000 people who have either taken a vacation this year or are planning to do so. 

Courtesy IPX 1031

Over one-quarter of respondents said they’ve already taken a vacation since COVID-19 and 20% have plans to take one.

Some respondents plan to put their travel plans on hold (37%) or have opted for a “staycation” at home (15%).

The IPX 1031 report finds that 40% of the respondents outright canceled a vacation and 23% postponed their vacation.

The survey also found that the logistics of traveling will change for respondents as well when those surveyed decide to travel again. 64% said they do not feel safe flying on a commercial airplane right now and one-third said they will wait until a vaccine is available to fly again.

Some of their key findings:

  • Only 27% of Americans have taken a vacation since COVID-19 began. 62% of those regret taking their vacation due to limitations on the trip. 
  • Only 20% of Americans say they plan to vacation this year. 64% don’t feel safe flying and 33% say they won’t fly until there is a vaccine.  
  • Of those who have vacationed, 70% changed their destination, 81% avoided large cities and 76% monitored COVID-19 cases in the area before traveling. 
  • The most popular domestic travel destinations during COVID-19: 1. California 2. Florida 3. New York 4. Texas 5. Nevada. 
  • 49% of respondents said they would be more likely to take a vacation (or a second vacation) if a second federal stimulus check is issued this year. 

But despite the pandemic, many Americans were determined to find time for relaxation and a vacation this summer. Of the 27% who have already taken a vacation, 28% did take one in March while June was the second most popular month to travel. 52% of Americans say they drove to their destination and of those, 72% decided to drive in order to avoid flying.

Travelers gave diverse response in regards to accommodations, as hotels were the most popular (40%), Americans also say they stayed with family (18%), short-term rentals like Airbnb (16%) or their vacation homes (9%).

Respondents also stayed longer at their destinations with 55% saying their vacation was longer than it normally would be.

Have questions about coronavirus?

Even as some Americans, may not to fully unplug on vacation, others will be dreaming about a break from work. According to respondents, 56% will leave PTO on the table this year due to COVID-19.

However, with the possibilities of another stimulus check, 50% of those who responded said they would be more likely to take a vacation or an additional vacation if they receive another COVID-19 relief payment.


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Tracy Smith
Curtis Booker, joined the ABC4 family in January of 2019 as a Digital Content Producer. In May of 2019, he transitioned into learning the inner workings of becoming a news producer assisting with various shows. Curtis most recently rejoined the Digital team as a multi-media journalist in February of 2020.

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