This Is How Many Americans Would Take a Domestic Flight Right Now

It's a shockingly large number.

Flying in a pandemic

Domestic travel looks a lot different in 2020 than in prior years due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the United States and the rest of the world. After all, these 18 pre-social distancing photos of people hugging, working out together, and living life mask-free feel like ages ago. Now that more people are taking the proper precautions and wearing face masks are now part of the new normal, what is the general consensus with taking road trips and booking hotels? And with the rising cases in the United States and worldwide, how many Americans would take a flight right now, domestic or out of the country? While things are still up in the air, here’s what travel could look like after coronavirus.

A preference for domestic travel

In a travel study conducted to measure domestic travel trends in a U.S. based audience, Allianz Travel surveyed 4,300 of its customers and gauged “travelers’ intent in booking trips of at least two nights that are more than 100 miles from their home.” The results concluded a strong preference to travel within the United States and the ideal choice for accommodation and lodging are hotels and resorts. U.S. travelers have opted to say goodbye to visiting the most popular international cities in the world and have decided to stay local—at least for the time being.

“While the travel landscape is constantly changing, we’re finding that our customers are eager to safely hit the road to enjoy time together with their families,” Joe Mason, Chief Marketing Officer at Allianz Partners, said in a press release.“While travel to foreign destinations is currently in flux, it’s a great time to fly or drive to rediscover the amazing destinations that America has to offer.” Checking items off the bucket list in person at some destinations may have to wait until the pandemic is over, but it’s possible for armchair travelers to see these 14 virtual tours of attractions that were on their bucket list.

Fly or drive?

While the majority of customers at 59 percent preferred embarking on a domestic trip, there was a stark divide between driving or flying. More than half of customers surveyed at 54 percent had plans to fly while 42 percent chose instead to drive on the road. This may be because airlines are increasing their cleaning measures during the pandemic and travelers are learning the truth about recirculated air on airplanes and finding out exactly how airplanes keep the air clean. If you’re opting to fly and a bit hesitant about it, here’s why one nurse isn’t afraid to fly even during a pandemic.

Hotels and resorts are preferred

It might come as a surprise that when traveling, the Allianz Travel survey found that 47 percent of travelers would prefer to stay at a hotel property, like a hotel or resort, while less than a third at 27 percent would choose to visit with friends or family. About 11 percent of customers said they would prefer a short term rental home. No matter what, these are the 14 etiquette rules to follow when visiting friends and family during a pandemic. If you’re looking to stay in a hotel, here’s how professional cleaners can tell if a hotel room is clean.

Taking precautions when cleaning

In a pandemic, it’s especially important to practice good hygiene and wash your hands often. After all, there are at least 15 diseases you can prevent including coronavirus, norovirus, and pink eye just by washing your hands. The survey looked at how the travel industry is changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly what cleaning procedures are being enforced. Regarding cleaning and safety, “Allianz found that advanced sanitizing efforts (50 percent) and a proven vaccine for COVID-19 (49 percent) are the top safety measures that will make customers feel safe enough to travel again, followed by health officials announcing that it is safe to travel again (42 percent).”

For more on this developing situation, see our comprehensive Coronavirus Guide.
Sources:

Madeline Wahl
Madeline Wahl is a Digital Associate Editor/Writer at RD.com. Previously, she worked for HuffPost and Golf Channel. Her writing has appeared on HuffPost, Red Magazine, McSweeney's, Pink Pangea, The Mighty, and Yahoo Lifestyle, among others. More of her work can be found on her website: www.madelinehwahl.com