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Vaccinations fuel traveler confidence; Iowans are more willing to fly and stay in a hotel

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Traveler confidence is growing as COVID-19 vaccinations become more readily available. A new AAA survey reveals that over half of Iowans (53%) are comfortable taking a trip. That's a 10 percentage-point increase compared to our previous survey in January.

View the full survey here

Iowans cite the increased safety measures and more knowledge about how the virus spreads as the top two reasons they feel comfortable traveling now. Nearly half (46%) base their confidence on masks and sanitization, and one third (33%) on knowledge of the spread. Additionally, more than a quarter (26%) say they have received the vaccine.

"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 Iowans who are eager to plan a trip," said Meredith Mitts, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. "While many want to wait until the summer, some have already received their vaccine and are motivated to travel now."

According to the Survey:

  • 64% of Iowans expect to travel in 2021, which is up nearly 15 percentage points from Q1
  • 34% of travelers will take their next 3-day trip before June
  • 65% of Iowans say they would be traveling more if there was not a pandemic
  • 46% of Iowans say they will feel more comfortable traveling when they are fully vaccinated

Trips, Transportation and Lodging

Iowans appear to be more willing to fly and stay in a hotel or resort. According to the survey:

  • 59% of Floridians are comfortable staying in a hotel/resort (10 percentage-points more than Q1)
  • 43% are comfortable taking a flight (11 percentage-points more than Q1)

The most popular vacations for Q2 travelers are:

  • City/major metro destinations (26%)
  • Lake destinations (26%)
  • National/state parks (21%)

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

Travel Insurance

A growing number of Iowans will also consider buying travel insurance, due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Two in five residents (40%) report being more likely to purchase travel insurance now than before the pandemic began. That's an increase of six percentage points from Q1.

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. Because coverages can vary by policy, AAA Travel Advisors can help travelers choose the right policy that best protects their finances and health before and during their trip.

AAA Travel Agents and Other Resources

Travel agents are more important than ever during a pandemic. As more people are booking travel again, popular destinations are filling up.

Travel advisors serve as your advocate to help you assess options and navigate new safety protocols before, during and after a trip, and can answer questions related to:

  • Travel insurance options
  • What destinations and attractions are open both domestically and internationally
  • Which operators still have options available in popular destinations
  • Destination-specific testing and quarantine requirements
  • What to do if you need to make last-minute changes to a trip

Digital Resources for Planning a Road Trip

Road trips to domestic destinations continue to be the preferred way for many to travel, but even these trips require additional planning and preparation. COVID requirements by location are imbedded in AAA's app and website, so you can easily see these rules while you plan your road trip. Also, you can search for hotels based upon AAA's Diamond Ratings and Best of Housekeeping Awards to help you make a confident decision. Go to the AAA App or COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and TripTik.AAA.com for the latest state and local travel restrictions, and to identify which rest stops, gas stations, restaurants and hotels are open along their route.

About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Iowa from March 12 - 18, 2021. 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 Iowa.

About AAA - The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA's mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.