Traveler confidence has surged from 40% in Q1 to 76% in Q3

21 July 2021

MADISON, Wis., (July 21, 2021) – Traveler confidence is soaring, according to a new AAA Travel survey, fielded in late June. According to the data, over three-quarters of Wisconsinites (80%) feel more comfortable traveling now than they did three months ago.

Click here to view the AAA’s Q3 Travel Survey and see Wisconsinites’ opinions about vaccination passports and their willingness to wear masks while traveling

Over the course of the past three quarterly AAA Travel surveys, residents’ comfort level has significantly increased as their concern about COVID-19 waned.





Concerned about Contracting Covid-19




Feel Comfortable Traveling




Top reasons Wisconsinites’ feel more confident traveling:

  • Received their COVID-19 vaccination (53%)
  • More confident in safety measures being implemented (34%)
  •  Less afraid about the dangers of the virus (27%)

Of those who are already or plan to be vaccinated, 43% say travel was a motivating factor in doing s

“AAA has experienced a surge in demand for travel as more Americans have become vaccinated and feel confident in their ability to vacation safely,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “AAA travel advisors have been inundated with calls from people who want help navigating the growing options for travel.  Cruises and guided vacations are fully staffed and typically operating in 2021 with less than full capacity of guests, making a more intimate experience.  In addition, these trips are largely inclusive of meals and activities, making it easier to choose a great value for travel in 2021.  Our team members who are traveling this summer are having a great time.”

Travel Plans

Nearly three-quarters (69%) of Wisconsinites have already traveled or plan to take a trip in 2021 and more than two-thirds will take their next trip sometime between July and September. Travel volumes have greatly increased from the 53% of Wisconsinites who traveled in 2020.

Wisconsinites’ Top 5 Vacations in Q3:

  • National/State Park (31%)
  • City/Major Metro Destination (30%)
  • Lake Destination (28%)
  • Beach Destination (22%)
  • Theme Park (19%)

Comfort Grows for Various Travel Types

Throughout the year, the majority of Wisconsinites travelers have felt comfortable using their personal vehicle for a road trip. Yet during the past three quarters, AAA has noted significant improvement in travelers’ comfort in the following:





Staying in a hotel/resort




Renting a car




Taking a commercial flight




Going to theme parks






A growing number of Wisconsinites are back on board with the idea of cruising. According to new survey data nearly half of Wisconsinites (45%) feel comfortable taking an ocean or river cruise with 25% already planning to cruise in 2021 or 2022.

“We are seeing tremendous enthusiasm among travelers who are ready to set sail on a cruise,” Haas continued. “Ships are filling up fast in 2021. Next year is looking even stronger, as 2022 cruise bookings with AAA are outpacing what we saw in 2019.  New options for cruising in 2021 are emerging weekly, so travel advisors can watch for options if they know of your interests.”

Traveler Confusion

A third (36%) of Wisconsinites are finding it challenging to understand the COVID-related requirements for international travel. That’s because restrictions and protocols can vary depending on the destination and type of trip, and change as governments adapt to the local situation.

“The value of a travel advisor is greater now than ever before,” Haas continued. “AAA travel advisors have exclusive tools to quickly navigate requirements for each destination, helping travelers make informed decisions and prepare for their trip. Additionally, we leverage long-standing relationships with travel providers to provide options and special benefits that travelers can’t find anywhere else.”

Travel Insurance

Over two in five Wisconsinites (43%) say they are more likely to purchase travel insurance now than before the pandemic began.

“Travelers were quickly reminded last year that unexpected events can impact your trip at any time,” Haas continued. “Travel insurance is extremely important in today’s environment. There are various policies that can help offset unexpected out of pocket expenses, in case you get sick or your trip is cancelled or delayed.  Plus, Travel Insurance provides a range of coverage options in the event that a hurricane disrupts your travel plans.  Our travel advisors can help you choose a policy that will allow you to relax and enjoy your vacation.”

About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Wisconsin from June 16-25, 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 Wisconsin.