The vaccine is the key to recovery

10 February 2021

A new AAA travel survey, conducted in January, reveals that 57 percent of Iowans are uncomfortable traveling during the Covid-19 pandemic. The main concerns are:

  • Fears of getting sick (65%)
  • New strains of the virus (50%)
  • The number of Covid-19 cases (49%)

Click here to view the AAA Consumer PulseTM Survey

The travel industry has been hit hard by this pandemic. Nearly three in five Iowans (58%) canceled or rescheduled travel plans in 2020. Currently, nearly half (49%) of Iowans are comfortable staying in a hotel, while only 32 percent feel comfortable taking a commercial flight. The majority (87%) feel most comfortable traveling in their personal vehicle.

Treatment and Knowledge Fuels Optimism

With more known about the virus and how it spreads, there appears to be growing confidence among some travelers. Nearly one-fifth (19%) of Iowans say they are more comfortable traveling now than when the pandemic began – 10 percentage points more than when we last surveyed in October. Their growing confidence was attributed to:

  • More knowledge about how the virus spreads (51%)
  • The implementation of mask use and cleaning policies (44%)
  • Less fear about the dangers of the virus (32%)
  • More confidence in medical treatment and outcomes (28%)

This year, half of Iowans (51%) plan to take at least one vacation of 3 days or more. One-third (33%) of respondents plan to take multiple trips – up 10 percentage points from 2020. However, 2 in 5 residents say they will feel more comfortable traveling after receiving both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine (44%) and when cases begin to decrease (40%).

“The Covid-19 vaccine truly is the key to restoring Americans’ confidence in traveling again,” said Meredith Mitts, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “With health experts predicting widespread vaccinations by the summer, AAA Travel Advisors are seeing growing interest in bookings for the second half of the year.”

Additional survey highlights:

  • 81% will wear a mask in public while traveling
  • 38% are more likely to visit a destination with a mask mandate
  • 52% are driving less due to the pandemic (38% - no change in driving habits)
  • 34% are more likely to purchase travel insurance than before the pandemic
  • 77% will not travel in Q1 (43% cite the pandemic as a reason why)

“For over 100 years, AAA has been helping travelers travel safely and enjoyably,” Mitts continued. “That’s why AAA encourages the use of a trusted travel agent. They are the experts who help you consider options and make informed decisions that fit your comfort level.”
 

About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Iowa from January 15 - 24, 2021.  A total of 400 residents completed the survey.  Survey results asked of all respondents have a maximum margin of error of ± 4.9% points.  Responses are weighted by age and gender to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Iowa.