LOS ANGELES - As the winter holiday season quickly approaches, many Americans are accustomed to packing their suitcases and jet setting to see family. But a new survey found that people may be opting out of holiday visits due to fears involving the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the survey, conducted by FloridaPanhandle.com in October, which asked 3,000 Americans about travel safety precautions, only 10% reported feeling safe riding a plane for a cross-country trip in the U.S.
The type of cross-country transportation Americans feel the safest taking during the COVID-19 pandemic (FloridaPanhandle.com)
More than one-third of the respondents said masks, testing and other precautions wouldn’t ease their fears about traveling long distances by public transportation including plane, train or bus. Only 7% of individuals said cleaning would ease their fears of traveling long distances by these means.
That being said, prospective travelers favored face mask requirements the most compared to other precautions like testing and sanitation.
Nearly 80% of those surveyed said they feel safest taking their car for a cross-country trip, suggesting that more people will take road trips to visit family members this holiday season.
Survey showed only 1 in 10 feel safe taking a plane for a long trip during COVID-19 pandemic (FloridaPanhandle.com)
“Using your car may be more enticing since you know who’s been in it and you can control cleanliness at all times. This level of control may be enough to convince most people to take their car despite the length of the trip,” according to the survey.
This echoes earlier surveys and studies indicating a reduction in air travel since the onset of the pandemic.
One study by Travelocity found that 60 percent of Americans won’t be traveling to see friends or family this year for the holiday season.
Meanwhile, a survey from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) found that 58 percent of travelers have avoided air travel, with 33 percent saying they will avoid travel in the future to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.
In a recent survey, Cooper Tires found that 44 percent of American drivers took more road trips this past summer due to COVID-19. They also found that 46 percent are relying on their cars and driving more than usual because of the pandemic.