21
October
2021
|
17:00 PM
America/Chicago

"THE EARLIER THE BETTER" AAA URGES MINNESOTANS TO START MAKING HOLIDAY TRAVEL PLANS NOW

New AAA Travel Survey shows 32% of Minnesotans lock in plans before November

Minnesotans have begun making their travel plans for the holiday season. According to a new AAA Travel survey, nearly one third (32%) of residents book their holiday trips by the end of October.

Click here to view the full survey

"Time is of the essence for people who plan to take a flight this holiday season," said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. "As we get closer to the holidays, airfares often rise as availability shrinks. We recommend you book by Halloween, for the best chance of finding the flight you want at a favorable rate."

AAA will release its full Thanksgiving Travel Forecast November 9th.

"We've recently seen numerous flight delays and cancellations, and even more are possible during the holidays," Haas continued. "So if you're planning a flight, you may want to consider travel insurance. If your flight is cancelled, there are various policies that would help offset unexpected expenses like a hotel, transportation and food. You may also receive compensation for lost luggage, or if your flight is delayed for as little as 3 hours."

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

While 33% of Minnesotans plan to head to a major city or metro, two thirds will be vacationing somewhere with easy access to the great outdoors in Q4. Beach destinations, National/state parks, and resort vacations top the list at 18% each, followed by lake destinations at 15%.

VACCINE PROVIDING CONFIDENCE FOR HOLIDAY TRAVELERS

Less than a third (28%) of Minnesotans plan to take a vacation of 3 days or more during the 2021 holiday season. Meanwhile, thirteen percent have not yet decided. That said, less than a third (28%) of Minnesotans without holiday travel plans site fear of contracting or spreading COVID-19 as their reason for not traveling this Holiday season.

Compared to last year, when a vaccine wasn't available, 30% of Minnesotans are more comfortable traveling this holiday season. Meanwhile, over half (52%) feel the same as last year.

Of the 75% of Minnesotans who are fully or partially vaccinated:

  • 69% are confident the vaccine will protect them from contracting COVID-19 while traveling
  • 67% are confident in the long-term effectiveness of the vaccine

QUARTERLY TRAVEL CONFIDENCE

Do you feel comfortable traveling?

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

42%

49%

78%

69%


Traveler confidence took a step back this quarter, following a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, brought on by the Delta variant. This year, the percentage of Minnesotans who are comfortable traveling rebounded from 49% in Q2 to 78% in Q3, yet slipped back to 69% in our Q4 survey – fielded in September.

QUARTERLY TRAVELER CONFIDENCE BY TRIP TYPE

Do you feel comfortable doing the following?

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Using own vehicle for road trip

90%

91%

93%

94%

Staying in a hotel

47%

59%

81%

76%

Going to theme parks

NA

34%

57%

46%

Taking a commercial flight

32%

47%

61%

56%

Taking an ocean or river cruise

NA

NA

43%

35%

Although traveler confidence hit a snag, enthusiasm could rebound through the end of the year. COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are trending lower again, which is what 43% of Minnesotans said would need to happen in order to feel more comfortable traveling.

TRAVELERS INCREASINGLY TURNING TO TRAVEL ADVISORS AND INSURANCE

"Whether you're taking a flight, cruise or tour; travel insurance can provide the peace of mind in knowing that your trip is protected during the pandemic," Haas said. "There are various policies that provide coverage if you contract COVID either before or during your trip. If you talk with a travel agent, they can help ensure you have the policy that is the best fit for your trip."

Travel Advisors

Travel advisors are vital during the pandemic. A fifth (20%) of Minnesotans value travel agents more now than before the pandemic began. Since restrictions and requirements can vary by destination, travel advisors help travelers navigate the various complexities, so they can make informed decisions and travel with confidence.

About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Minnesota from September 15-22, 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 Minnesota.