Forbes collaborator and Travel Expert Alex Ledsom says tells us where are people roaming the world right now.
Whilst many people are getting vaccinated, current polls point to the fact that this might not lead to a huge increase in international travel for Americans for quite a while; the confidence levels just aren’t there–either because people are wary about traveling with other people who may not be vaccinated or because travel restrictions could easily change, leaving people without holiday plans or worse, out of pocket. (Many people simply don’t have the money or economic confidence to travel far after such an uncertain year).
But people are still moving, and where and how they are traveling can help others to plan their own trips. Here’s what the current data suggests:
The fully vaccinated are staying domestic
A recent Harris Poll conducted in the U.S. found that whilst more than 4 in 10 Americans say they are ready to resume international travel, a sizeable majority (55%) remain hesitant, fearing Covid-19 variants.
The under-40s are more likely to say they want to travel internationally but it is the people who have already been vaccinated (generally, the over-40s) that say they are less likely to travel internationally, meaning that foreign travel might see a time-lag before it rebounds.
People are sticking to the road
This data is confirmed by research conducted by TripIt which found that whilst half of vaccinated Americans will be ready to travel by June, this is mostly to domestic destinations.
Primarily, journeys will be made by car–international flights will reach the same level of confidence as domestic flights and road journeys by April 2022, nearly one year away. Interestingly, one in four travelers said the uncertainty about the rules for those who are and aren’t vaccinated concerned them about the next time they travel.
Social media is tracking the rise in road interest
Since April 28, over 2.4 million travel-related conversations have been tracked on Twitter, as reported by social media analytics company Sprout Social. One thing is clear though–people are talking more about road trips (47,100 mentions) than about flights (24,100 mentions).
There has been a hike in car rental prices
Kayak data shows that travel searches are up by 70% month on month and demand is causing major surges in car rental prices, particularly in Florida, Alaska, Montana, and Hawaii.
Matt Clarke, Vice President of North America Marketing at Kayak said, “if you’re considering one of these destinations for your next trip, we recommend booking your rental car about two months in advance before prices start to increase.”
Boats are also big (particularly Austin, Texas)
GetMyBoat, where renters book boats directly with boat operators through an app has seen 700% year-on-year growth in 2021 and is on track to have sent one million people off on a boat before the end of the year in over 9,000 destinations.
Miami-based Click&Boat, which offers pontoons, party boats and fishing charters, has also seen an increase in interest of 156% in holidaying on the water since last year, as people begin to get out and about.
Pre-pandemic, the majority of boat bookings made by Americans on Click&Boat were for international destinations (93%) whilst most people are currently deciding to holiday domestically. Unsurprisingly, Florida (Miami, Key West) and California are top destinations, but bookings have quintupled in Austin, Texas since the start of 2021 compared to all of 2020.
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