The great outdoors such as national parks and beaches remain popular for long vacation weekends.
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Rising Covid-19 infections due to the delta version may slow the rebound of the pandemic, but Labor Day travelers are looking for the hustle and bustle of last summer – and with the shadow of a possible future lock in their minds – to hit Curious Road.
This despite continued concerns over COVID-19 and related restrictions such as destination and site masking and vaccination requirements, recent studies have shown.
To that end, 75% of those polled by travel sites The Vacationer and SurveyMonkey on Aug. 1 said the coronavirus remains a “minor” or “major” concern, according to co-founder Eric Jones. Still, Jones said he believes Labor Day travel is on the rise “because people want to make sure they get something.”
“There is talk of new quarantine rules or lockdowns … so some are concerned they will no longer travel,” Jones said in an investigation earlier this summer.
The Vacationer found that 25% of Americans are planning a so-called revenge trip. “They travel a lot more than they usually do, just because they’ve been bottled at home,” Jones said. “So I guess for Labor Day that’s one of the last opportunities for them this summer.”
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In fact, over 53% of the 571 people polled in The Vacationer’s latest poll planned to travel for Labor Day, including 4.03% using public transport, 12.08% by plane and 36.95%. by car. The discovery would mean – if extrapolated to the total US population – that 137 million US adults will travel this weekend, according to the site, an increase from July 4 and more than 10% of the total for Easter weekends. and Memorial Day. .
For its part, Tripadvisor found that only 31% of Americans plan to move this weekend, a level comparable to 2020 (32%) and even 2019 (35%).
Elizabeth Monahan, senior site communications manager and US travel specialist, said “in terms of a long weekend, it’s pretty consistent.” Tripadvisor found that 86% of travelers will be living in the United States, 45% will travel locally by car or train, and 41% will take domestic flights. Only 14% intend to travel abroad.
In the age group, Millennials are the most eager to travel, at 38%, followed by Gen X at 32% and Gen Z at 31%. Older Americans are much less likely to go out this week, with just 13% of baby boomers making the trips.
Millennials, often considered to be in their 30s and 40s, are more likely to be the parents of children who have been homeschooled in the past year – perhaps in response to a population eager to get out of school. the House. account, Monahan said.
“This group, in particular, lacks the very fond memories you can have as you travel and experience different parts of the world with the people closest to you,” she said.
It’s not just surveys showing growing interest in Labor Day travel, it’s also visible in hard sales data. Analysis of Concur’s data with TripIt showed that bookings for domestic flights, car rentals, accommodation and vacation rentals were up 53%, 75%, 62% and 46%, respectively, per compared to Labor Day 2019. This is up from Memorial Day weekend, when flights were only 33% of 2019 levels; Car rentals and accommodation bookings have also increased significantly since the end of May.
Jen Moyse, senior director of products at TripIt, said the scan results were “not a terrible surprise.”
“We’ve seen in our study so far that people feel more comfortable traveling and this is reflected in bookings,” he said. “As the vaccines came out, we saw the comfort level increase.”
In terms of spending, 39.4% said they were not keeping any cash on hand for travel this weekend, The Vacationer found. But among those who do travel, the majority of travelers will spend less than $ 500, at 37.13%, while 12.08% will spend $ 501 to $ 1,000, according to The Vacationer survey. Some 11.38%, meanwhile, will spend $ 1,001 or more. That means nearly one in four adults will spend more than $ 500 this weekend.
TripIt has found that travelers stay away once, with a factor of 10 for travel bookings of 8 to 13 days and for trips over 14 days, since 2019. Moyse is the specialty that people who travel leisure occupants also live for business. trips. They just want to stay away longer once they decide to travel. “If I’m going to hang out I’m going to travel the way I think I am,” she said.
According to Tripadvisor, flexibility remains important for travelers; Filters like “free cancellation”, “pay on site” and “travel safely” are currently the most clicked on the site.
“The biggest benefit people are looking for is cleanliness, but flexibility is also a priority right now,” said Monahan. “The more flexibility the different hospitality sectors can offer to customers, the more suppliers they will gain in business.”
They also booked flights for the Labor Day weekend later this year, with TripIt finding 51% of bookings in July, up from just 18% in 2020. Tripadvisor also noted a trend of last minute bookings. The site found that 70% of trips booked in the first week of August were for trips within three weeks.
Moyse at TripIt attributed this behavior to people because the conscious conditions change from day to day.
“Part of it is looking at the current situation, asking yourself: Am I ready to go? How are you going to be in this destination? ‘ Moyes cited Hawaii as an example. Indicated, which relaxed entry restrictions in July. only to tighten them.
not far from the covid
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Three in four polled by The Vacationer said COVID-19 is a “minor” or “major” concern for Labor Day. About half are concerned that they (at 46.06%) or a family member or friend (46.76%) may have COVID, and 37.83% fear spreading it unintentionally. Requirements for masks (28.55%) and testing or vaccines (20.32%) were also concerns, whether respondents were for or against such a mandate. Only 16.99% had no worries.
On Tripit, Moyes said: “There is still nervousness [and] They are always careful.
However, this may be due to the surprising rise of the Delta version. “Once the Delta version is with us, it’s possible that we will see other responses from people,” she said.
“But right now people are learning to wear a mask, they are learning to take precautions, they are learning to plan ahead, and that’s some of the advice we often give,” Moyes said. noted. “Think about how to plan your trip a little differently than in 2019.”
Namely, TripAdvisor found that beaches and national parks – largely outdoor spaces that became popular last year amid the pandemic – remained the top attractions in August.
Monahan said, “When people want to get out and travel, they want to do it safely outdoors or in places like beaches or hiking – we’re even very interested in campgrounds. Let’s see. “” The places where you can enjoy a great view but also practice social distancing continue to be very strong trends and we are seeing that for Labor Day weekend as well. “
The trend is reflected in the popularity of more city spots than in TripAdvisor’s top destinations for 2019 this Labor Day. This year, Ocean City, MD took the top spot, pushing former No.1 Las Vegas to third, and 10 of the top 15 are hot or beach destinations. Two years ago, on the other hand, 10 of the top 15 places were big cities.
That said, don’t plan on staying out of town for good.
“We’re starting to see some places like New York City and even Chicago reappear,” Monahan said.
The Big Apple, No. 2 in 2019, managed to place fifth this year, and the Windy City, the sixth most popular, retains some appeal at No. 14.