Have plans to travel this summer despite the pandemic? A new study shows you’re not alone

Study: Americans expected to take 700 million trips this summer

Full length back view portrait of young man and his charming girlfriend walking and carrying their trolley bags. (Yaroslav Astakhov, iStock)

A study by auto club group AAA has found that despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of millions of Americans will hit the roads and take to the skies this summer.

A study by AAA found that 700 million trips will likely be taken by Americans this summer, and while that number sounds like a summer packed with adventure, AAA reported that numbers is down nearly 15% compared to last July through September; this year would also see the first decline in summer travel since 2009.

AAA used “key economic indicators to determine total number of trips, not actual traveler totals” for their study.

“AAA booking trends show Americans are still making travel plans, though more cautiously and spur of the moment; often seeking long weekend getaways instead of extended vacations,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman. “When they do venture out, the greatest share of travelers will pack up the car for 683 million road trips.”

The study found that car trips will reign supreme this summer, accounting for 97% of the favored mode of transportation.

AAA reported that air travel will be off by about 74%, while rail, cruise ship and bus travel will plummet by 86%.

“Were it not for the pandemic, AAA would be projecting 857 million trips during the third quarter, a 3.6% increase over last year. By this analysis, the pandemic wiped out nearly 150 million trips this summer,” AAA researchers said in a news release.

As for Floridians in particular, a AAA survey showed that many residents plan to keep it local this summer. AAA found 40% of Florida travelers had to reschedule at least one trip this year, while 39% say they canceled a trip with no plans to reschedule.

According to the survey:

  • 57% of Floridians will take fewer trips as a result of the coronavirus
  • 39% of Floridians cancelled travel with no plans to reschedule this year
  • 27% of Floridians rescheduled a trip to later this year
  • 13% of Floridians rescheduled 2020 travel plans for 2021 or later
  • 24% of Floridians were not affected; did not change 2020 travel plans

About the Author:

Erin began her career at News 6 as an assignment editor, then became a show producer. She is now a digital storyteller as part of the Click Orlando team.