10 February 2021

 A new AAA travel survey conducted in January reveals half of North Dakotans are uncomfortable traveling during the Covid-19 pandemic. The main concerns are:

  • Fears of getting sick (55%)
  • The number of Covid-19 cases (41%)
  • New strains of the virus (37%)

The travel industry has been hit hard by this pandemic. More than half of North Dakotans (53%) canceled or rescheduled travel plans in 2020.  When considering travel, half (50%) of North Dakotans are comfortable staying in a hotel, while 40 percent feel comfortable taking a commercial flight. The majority (92%) feel most comfortable traveling in their personal vehicle.

Treatment, Knowledge Fuels Optimism

With more known about the virus and how it spreads, there appears to be growing confidence among some travelers. About one in five (21%) North Dakotans say they are more comfortable traveling now than when the pandemic began – 14 percentage points more than when we last surveyed in October. Their growing confidence was attributed to:

  • The implementation of mask use and cleaning policies (49%)
  • More knowledge about how the virus spreads (46%)
  • Less afraid about the dangers of the virus (38%)
  • More confidence in medical treatment and outcomes (32%)

This year, just over half (56%) of North Dakotans plan to take at least one vacation of 3 days or more. A third (36%) of respondents plan to take multiple trips. However, nearly 2 in 5 residents say they will feel more comfortable traveling after receiving both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine (39%) and when cases begin to decrease (31%).

“The Covid-19 vaccine is one key to restoring Americans’ confidence in traveling again,” said Gene LaDoucer, North Dakota director of public affairs, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “With health experts predicting widespread vaccinations by summer, AAA Travel Advisors are seeing growing interest in bookings for the second half of the year and into 2022.”

Additional survey highlights:

  • 71% will wear a mask in public while traveling
  • 50% are driving less due to the pandemic (43% - no change in driving habits)
  • 37% are more likely to purchase travel insurance than before the pandemic
  • 31% are more likely to visit a destination with a mask mandate
  • 79% will not travel in Q1 (39% cite the pandemic as a reason why)

“For more than 100 years, AAA has been helping travelers travel safely and enjoyably,” LaDoucer continued. “That’s why AAA encourages consulting with a trusted travel agent. They are experts who can help you consider options and make informed decisions that fit your comfort level.”

Additional information on travel planning can be found at AAA.com/Travel.

Click here to view the AAA Consumer PulseTM Survey

About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in North Dakota from January 15 - 24, 2021.  A total of 200 residents completed the survey.  Survey results asked of all respondents have a maximum margin of error of ± 6.9% points.  Responses are weighted by age and gender to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in North Dakota.