Survey: Coronavirus ruined travel plans for 76% of Floridians

Residents report canceling, rescheduling trips

Passengers wearing personal protective face masks leave the United Airline ticket counter after checking in Tuesday, June 16, 2020, at the Tampa International Airport in Tampa, Fla. Some major US airlines, including United, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, and Southwest Airlines, pledged to roll out new policies requiring masks for passengers to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Chris O'Meara, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – We could all use a vacation, but thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, that likely won’t be happening soon for most.

A new survey by AAA found that 76% of Floridians had their travel plans impacted due to the global COVID-19 situation. Of those, 40% had to reschedule, while 39% opted to cancel their trip altogether.

“The coronavirus has had a significant impact on travel this year,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Even as Florida reopens and travel providers implement enhanced sanitation protocols, Floridians are mixed on how soon they’d be willing to take a road trip, a flight, or simply stay in a hotel. The majority say it will take some time before they feel comfortable traveling like they used to. Until then, Floridians will take fewer trips than normal, and take extra precautions to avoid contracting the virus.”

Traveling by airplane or bus is considered an at-risk activity by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so rather than take public transportation, 11% of Floridians said they’d take a trip in their car within a month and another 16% said they’d be down for a road trip in the next two to three months.

“Floridians who are interested in traveling this summer are more likely to explore their own backyard, by traveling closer to home due to the threat of the coronavirus,” Jenkins said. “This means more people opting to take a road trip, instead of a flight, to avoid being in close quarters with strangers. The added value in driving is that summertime gas prices are the lowest in 15 years.”

No matter the mode of travel, the CDC recommends wearing facial coverings and practicing good hand hygiene.

Below are some other highlights from the AAA Consumer Pulse travel survey, which was conducted in late May:

  • 57% will take fewer trips as a result of the coronavirus
  • 39% canceled travel with no plans to reschedule this year
  • 27% rescheduled a trip to later this year
  • 13% rescheduled 2020 travel plans for 2021 or later
  • 24% were not affected; did not change 2020 travel plans
  • 46% said they won’t take an ocean cruise this year
  • 21% said they won’t take an international trip for at least another year
  • 48% will feel comfortable traveling when a COVID-19 vaccine is available
  • 47% report they “strongly agree” to practicing CDC guidelines while traveling
  • 46% are looking forward to getting together with friends and family when social distancing guidelines are relaxed

As far as summer travel plans go:

  • 35% of Floridians would be comfortable taking a regional road trip in their own vehicle (300 miles or less)
  • 23% would be comfortable staying in a hotel
  • 18% would fly on commercial airlines
  • 14% would rent a car for a road trip
  • 33% plan on traveling this summer