AAA Survey: Traveler optimism grows as summer approaches

A new AAA survey reveals that close to half of Illinois residents — 44 percent — are comfortable taking a trip.
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 3:21 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Traveler confidence is growing as COVID-19 vaccinations become more readily available.

A new AAA survey reveals that close to half of Illinois residents — 44 percent — are comfortable taking a trip. That’s an 11 percentage-point increase compared to the previous survey in January. View the full survey here.

Illinoisans cite the vaccine and increased safety measures, as the top three reasons they feel comfortable traveling now. More than a quarter — 28 percent — say they have received the vaccine. Even more — 40 percent — base their confidence on masks and sanitization and 30 percent say they are more knowledgeable about how the virus spreads.

“After a full year in a global pandemic, there is so much pent-up demand for travel that our AAA travel agents are seeing tremendous enthusiasm from Illinoisans who are eager to plan a trip,” Molly Hart, spokesperson for AAA – The Auto Club Group said. “While many want to wait until the summer, some have already received their vaccine and are motivated to travel now.”

According to the Survey:

· 60% of Illinoisans expect to travel in 2021

· 33% of travelers will take their next 3-day trip before June

· 73% of Illinoisans say they would be traveling more if there was not a pandemic

· 52% of Illinoisans say they will feel more comfortable traveling when they are fully vaccinated

· 51% of Illinoisans are comfortable staying in a hotel/resort

· 37% are comfortable taking a flight

“Spring and summertime travelers seem to value outdoor destinations like beaches and state parks now more than ever,” Hart continued. “Trips like these allow people to satisfy their thirst for travel, while also remaining socially distant in an open air environment.”

A growing number of Illinoisans will also consider buying travel insurance, due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. More than two in five residents — 41 percent — report being more likely to purchase travel insurance now than before the pandemic began. That’s an increase of eight percentage points. Since the pandemic, many travel insurance providers have adjusted their policies to provide protection for travelers who become ill with COVID-19 either before or during their trip, according to AAA.

Road trips to domestic destinations continue to be the preferred way for many to travel, but even these trips require additional planning and preparation. Go to the AAA App or COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and for the latest state and local travel restrictions, and to identify which rest stops, gas stations, restaurants and hotels are open along their route.

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Illinois from March 12 to 18. 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 Illinois.

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