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AAA Survey: Traveler Confidence Soars; 71% of Tennesseans Are More Comfortable Traveling Now

Traveler confidence has surged from 41% in Q1 to 73% in Q3

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (July 22, 2021) — Traveler confidence is soaring, according to a new AAA Travel survey, fielded in late June. According to the data, nearly three-quarters of Tennesseans (71%) feel more comfortable traveling now than they did three months ago.

Click here to view the full survey results and see Tennesseans' opinions about vaccination passports and their willingness to wear masks while traveling.

Over the course of the past three quarterly AAA Travel surveys, residents' comfort level has significantly increased as their concern about COVID-19 waned.




Concerned about Contracting Covid-19




Feel Comfortable Traveling




Top reasons Tennesseans feel more confident traveling:

  • Received their COVID-19 vaccination (47%)
  • More confident in safety measures being implemented (31%)
  • Less afraid about the dangers of the virus (25%)

Of those who are already or plan to be vaccinated, 39% say travel was a motivating factor in doing so.

"AAA has experienced a surge in demand for travel as more Americans have become vaccinated and feel confident in their ability to vacation safely," said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. "AAA travel advisors have been inundated with calls from people who want help navigating the growing options for travel. Cruises and guided vacations are fully staffed and typically operating in 2021 with less than full capacity of guests, making a more intimate experience. In addition, these trips are largely inclusive of meals and activities, making it easier to choose a great value for travel in 2021. Our team members who are traveling this summer are having a great time."

Travel Plans

Nearly seven in ten (69%) Tennesseans have already traveled or plan to take a trip in 2021. Three in five of those (60%) will take their next trip sometime between July and September. Travel volumes have greatly increased from the 54% of Tennesseans who traveled in 2020.

Tennesseans' Top 5 Vacations in Q3:

  • Beach Destination (38%)
  • City/Major Metro Destination (28%)
  • National/State Park (24%)
  • Lake Destination (16%)
  • Theme Park (15%)

Comfort Grows for Various Travel Types

Throughout the year, the majority of Tennessee travelers have felt comfortable using their personal vehicle for a road trip. Yet during the past three quarters, AAA has noted significant improvement in travelers' comfort in the following:




Staying in a hotel/resort




Renting a car




Taking a commercial flight




Going to theme parks





A growing number of Tennesseans are back on board with the idea of cruising. According to new survey data, two in five (40%) Tennesseans feel comfortable taking an ocean or river cruise, with more than a third (35%) planning to cruise in the future.

"We are seeing tremendous enthusiasm among travelers who are ready to set sail on a cruise," Haas continued. "Ships are filling up fast in 2021. Next year is looking even stronger, as 2022 cruise bookings with AAA are outpacing what we saw in 2019. New options for cruising in 2021 are emerging weekly, so travel advisors can watch for options if they know of your interests."

Traveler Confusion

A third (33%) of Tennesseans are finding it challenging to understand the COVID-related requirements for international travel. That's because restrictions and protocols can vary depending on the destination and type of trip, and change as governments adapt to the local situation.

"The value of a travel advisor is greater now than ever before," Haas continued. "AAA travel advisors have exclusive tools to quickly navigate requirements for each destination, helping travelers make informed decisions and prepare for their trip. Additionally, we leverage long-standing relationships with travel providers to provide options and special benefits that travelers can't find anywhere else."

Travel Insurance

Nearly two in five Tennesseans (38%) say they are more likely to purchase travel insurance now than before the pandemic began.

"Travelers were quickly reminded last year that unexpected events can impact your trip at any time," Haas continued. "Travel insurance is extremely important in today's environment. There are various policies that can help offset unexpected out of pocket expenses, in case you get sick or your trip is cancelled or delayed. Plus, Travel Insurance provides a range of coverage options in the event that a hurricane disrupts your travel plans. Our travel advisors can help you choose a policy that will allow you to relax and enjoy your vacation."

About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Tennessee from June 16-25, 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 Tennessee.

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 62 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.