Are you planning to travel for the holidays this year? A lot of us have been thinking about Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years and wondering whether a visit to family and friends is in the cards. Qtrip asked 2,300 of our customers how they are feeling about holiday travel in 2020. Here’s what we found out.
Will you be traveling during the holidays?
In 2020, this simple question is fraught with uncertainty. Close to 40% of our respondents are unsure right now, with about a third (32.6%) planning to travel and almost 28% sitting this year out. For those of you undecided, we’d like to provide a little information that could tip you in either direction.
First, know that the airlines quickly implemented enhanced safety and sanitation improvements to comply with (and in many cases, exceed) the CDC’s guidelines for COVID-19 prevention. In addition, air filtration systems on aircraft are some of the best of any industry.
And in terms of regular holiday airport traffic, with flights being curtailed this year coupled with consumer uncertainty, your logistical journey is likely to be a lot less stressful in terms of massive crowds. This year, there shouldn’t be many.
Airline tickets are, on average, a full 25% less expensive than last year. But beware! Because the airlines have cut flight schedules across the board and have limited capacity due to social distancing measures on some flights, if you wait too long to buy your ticket you might find yourself priced out of the market!
Which holidays are you planning to travel?
For those respondents planning a flight, just under 60% (59.12%) will make the trip for Christmas or Hanukkah. Almost 43% will travel during the historically bustling Thanksgiving holiday, and about 33% of you want to ring in the New Year with a travel celebration.
How do you plan to travel during the holidays?
This is where things get a little interesting. Over the past few months, road trips have become much more of a “thing” than typical, with a lot of folks opting to stay closer to home and avoid air travel.
If our survey is any indication, it does seem that travelers are planning to get back to air travel for the holidays with about 56% planning to take a flight. Only about 15% know that they’re definitely driving, and close to 30% haven’t decided.
Some of this might be preference – but for a lot of people hoping to visit family or friends the distances involved make flying the only option.
Where do you plan to stay?
This question was pretty interesting. The majority of travelers (53%) plan to stay with family or friends. With a lot of discussion around hotels versus vacation rentals versus staying with friends and family, our respondents at least are opting for the familiar comfort of bunking with friends.
About 26% of our respondents are planning to stay at a hotel – make sure if you do, that you check out our Covid Clean designated properties. The Covid Clean badge signifies that property has been vetted and passes our rigorous standards for sanitation and safety.
Close to 16% of travelers are opting into a vacation rental or Airbnb or VRBO. Such properties offer travelers maximum privacy, but a little less in the amenity department.
Do you feel confident it will be safe to travel during the holidays?
A little more than a third (35.6%) of respondents think it’s safe to travel this year, though close to a quarter do not. Perhaps most illuminating in terms of consumer sentiment is the portion of folks who are unsure – 41.3% just don’t know.
What concerns do you have about holiday travel?
As we expected, the usual suspects are all concerns for holiday travelers – no one likes crowded airports (38%) and expensive flights (36%). But now, with COVID being the main concern (72.9% of respondents reporting), other typical concerns have an added layer. Full flights are always irritating but now they pose a potential health concern as well for 40% of respondents. The fact that COVID has affected the number of flights in the air makes not enough flights (21%) more of a factor too. And finally, we have a chill group of about 7% of folks who have no worries at all (we appreciate their state of zen).
Whatever plans you have this year, Qtrip is here to provide information, context and support. If you decide to fly, we’ve crunched the numbers and put together our annual Holiday Flights Report to help you choose the best days to fly for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.