The Future of Travel

While summer may be in full-swing now that the long July 4th weekend has come and gone, summer vacation will look very different for many Americans this year. As one of the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, travel will continue to face setbacks throughout the summer and remainder of 2020 as consumers grapple with the fear of infection and concerns over their personal finances. 

As cases continue to rise across the country and states roll back their plans for reopening, we asked our audience if they are still planning any leisure travel this summer. Of those intending to travel, we explore where they plan to go and how they plan to get there. We also take a look at the amount of time it will take for Americans to feel comfortable traveling by plane again. 

July 7, 2020

Has COVID-19 changed your travel or vacation plans?

COVID-19 has impacted travel and vacations plans for half of Americans.

51% of Americans say Covid-19 has impacted their travel plans

Are you planning any leisure travel this summer?

Only 21% of Americans are planning leisure travel this summer.

21% of Americans are planning leisure travel this summer

Compared to other generations, Gen Zers are the most likely to plan a trip this summer.

Bar graph comparing which generations are most likely to travel

Where do you plan to travel?

Most Americans plan to travel in-state or out-of-state this summer, though only 10% are planning a long  cross-country trip. 9% of Americans plan to travel to an international destination.

Bar graph comparing where Americans plan on travelling this summer

Baby boomers and Gen Xers are most likely to travel out-of-state while Gen Zers and millennials are most likely to travel in-state. The Silent Generation is the most likely to take a cross-country trip this summer.

Americans in the West are more likely to travel in-state while those in the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast are more likely to travel out-of-state.

How do you plan to travel?

Of those planning to travel this summer, 68% intend to reach their destination by car, followed by planes (30%), trains (9%), and buses (8%).

68% of Americans plan on travelling by car this summer
30% of Americans plan on travelling by airplane this summer
9% of Americans plan on travelling by train this summer
8% of Americans plan on travelling by bus this summer

Compared to other regions, those in the Southeast are least likely to travel by plane (22%) and most likely to travel by car (64%).

When do you think you will be comfortable flying again?

Comfort with flying is a polarizing topic for Americans - 27% will be ready to fly within 6 months, 29% will not be ready for another 3+ years, and 54% fall somewhere in between.

Line graph showing when Americans will be comfortable flying again

Compared to women, men feel most comfortable flying with the next 6 months or less. Nearly a third of women would not feel comfortable flying for 3+ years, compared to one fourth of men who responded this way.

Circle graph comparing when men vs women will feel comfortable flying again

Compared to other generations, Gen Zers feel most comfortable flying within the next 6 months or less. The Silent Generation is most likely to feel comfortable flying in the next 6-12 months. Gen Xers and baby boomers are most likely to wait 3+ years before boarding a plane.

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How is this data collected?

‘Fluent Pulse’ reflects a daily online survey collected across Fluent’s portfolio of owned & operated websites.

Who is the audience?

Fluent attracts a massive audience across its network of owned media properties. While all segments of the US population are represented, the below are our most prevalent demographic skews:

Demographic Attribute Over Penetrated Among
Age Median: 38

61% between the age of 18 & 44

Gender 50/50 Male/Female
Education High School Degree or Some College
Homeownership 61% Renters
Households with Children 42% of Audience

How many people were surveyed?

On average, 150,000 – 175,000 consumers respond daily.

Is the data weighted?

No, but representative of the overall Fluent Audience.

How do you protect consumers data privacy?

All responses related to this survey are anonymized; only survey responses will be disclosed. At no point will consumer’s personal information will ever be disclosed.

What was your methodology?

Data has been collected from U.S. adults on a daily or weekly basis, dependent upon topic, since March 10, 2020. All data is sourced from Fluent’s portfolio of owned and operated media properties. Results are specific to the Fluent audience and not reflective of the general U.S. population.

The data presented on this site does not reflect the official opinion, policy or position of Fluent, Inc. This research is only meant to inform and illustrate, as an example, the rich data assets Fluent can derive insights from to drive in-market strategies.