Vaccinations Fuel Traveler Confidence

Road Trip: 32% of Coloradans will choose a National/State Park to visit in 2021.

Everybody’s talking travel: Nearly half of Coloradans are already comfortable taking a trip, per just-released survey data from AAA. All told, 47 percent of Coloradans are willing to travel — up nearly 10 percent from January amid relaxing travel guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and widespread vaccine eligibility.

“We knew from the beginning that the vaccine was the key to restoring travel confidence,” said Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs for AAA. “What we didn’t know was just how quickly demand would return. We’re seeing the largest month-over-month bumps in travel inquiries since last March. The bottom line is that if you’re thinking about travel, remember: so is everybody else.”

Fully 25 percent of Coloradans say they’re more comfortable traveling because they’ve received their COVID-19 vaccination, although significantly more (42 percent) say it’s because they’ve become more confident in safety measures, such as mask-wearing and sanitization protocols.

Other key findings:

  • 60 percent of Coloradans plan to travel in 2021.
  • 46 percent of Colorado travelers will take their next 3-day trip before July.
  • 70 percent of Coloradans say they would be traveling more if there was not a pandemic.
  • 31 percent of Coloradans say the CDC’s new guidance makes them more comfortable traveling, while 44 percent of Coloradans will be more comfortable traveling once they are fully vaccinated.
  • Only 6 percent of Coloradans are unwilling to wear a mask in public during travel, while mask mandates would encourage 48 percent of Coloradans to visit a destination.

Trips, Transportation And Lodging

Coloradans are increasingly willing to fly and stay in a hotel or resort. Per AAA’s survey:

Survey: In a recent AAA survey, 47% of Coloradans are now willing to travel.

  • 56 percent of Coloradans are comfortable staying in a hotel or resort, up nearly 10 points over January.
  • 41 percent of Coloradans are comfortable taking a commercial flight, also reflecting a nearly 10-point increase since the previous survey.

The most popular destinations

for Q2 Colorado travelers are:

  • National/State Park (32 percent)
  • Beach Destination (23 percent)
  • City/Major Metro Destination (23 percent).

Travel Insurance

Given the uncertain travel environment, nearly 40 percent of Coloradans are more likely to purchase travel insurance now than before the pandemic began. That’s up five percent from January.

Increasingly, travel insurance providers have adjusted their policies to provide protection for travelers who become ill with COVID-19 either before or during their trip. Coverages can vary by policy, so check with your travel adviser before booking travel or insurance.

Work With A Pro

Amid a still-uncertain travel environment, and in the wake of the chaos caused by sudden, dramatic travel shutdowns last year, AAA recommends that Coloradans work with a trusted travel agent or adviser. Travel professionals don’t typically charge for their services, and they have access to travel opportunities, deals, and resources you can’t find when booking yourself. What’s more, they’re experts on destination -specific health and safety requirements, and will serve as an advocate in your corner should anything change during your travels.

“If you’ve got any inkling that you might want to travel in 2021 or even 2022, start planning now,” McKinley said. “It’s no secret that everybody and their brother are tired of being cooped up. Now is the time to work with a professional to take advantage of travel opportunities that might be snatched up the longer you wait.”

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