AAA Survey: How COVID-19 is Expected to Impact Ohio Travel in 2021

See what AAA Ohio insights are predicting for Ohio travel in 2021 and how travel may be changing here.

A new travel survey from AAA Ohio Auto Club finds 59% of Ohioans are considering a trip in 2021, although many remain unsure of their travel plans due to COVID-19 concerns. See what AAA Ohio insights are predicting for Ohio travel in 2021 and how travel may be changing here.

Last-Minute Trips May be on The Rise

According to survey findings, Ohioans seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to travel in 2021.

    • 56% say they remain somewhat or very uncomfortable with traveling next year, citing the COVID-19 virus as the top reason they are planning to stay home.
    • Yet, 59% say they are considering taking a vacation that includes an overnight stay away from home in 2021. About a quarter (26%) say they aren’t sure yet, and 15% said they are not considering a trip next year.
    • Only 31% of those considering a vacation have actually booked their trip.

“These results show that Ohioans want to travel, but are still uncertain about what 2021 will bring,” said Jeremy Marshal, vice president of travel sales for AAA Ohio Auto Club. “As long as coronavirus concerns remain, we will likely continue to see more spur-of-the-moment travel decisions to outdoor destinations such as parks and outdoor attractions in Ohio and surrounding states.”

2021 Vacation Insights

 Of the Ohioans that say they are considering a trip in 2021, 86% will travel somewhere in the United States. The remaining 14% will either visit the Caribbean or Mexico (7%) or another international destination (7%).

“Travel vendors have responded to the anticipated continued focus on domestic travel in 2021 by adding new domestic itineraries,” said Marshall. “For example, we are seeing vendors expanding options for smaller group tours or vacation home rentals in popular U.S. travel destinations. Travel agents can help guide Ohioans to find the best options for their family and budget.”

For those considering a vacation in 2021, summer (30%) is the most popular time to travel, followed closely by spring (28%) and fall (22%).

Planning a Safe Trip 

Ohioans surveyed cited a destination’s attention to COVID-19 safety guidelines (43%) as their top consideration when planning their next vacation. Other priorities include price or value-added options (19%) and flexible cancellation policies (17%).

As Ohioans look ahead to the future, the following resources can help travelers find what they’re looking for in their next vacation:

    • Start with an expert: Virtual appointments with travel experts enable travelers to learn more about various destinations from the safety and comfort of their homes. Travel agents have access to the latest destination information and travel deals and can also act as your advocate if your plans change unexpectedly. To schedule a free appointment, visit AAA.com/Travel and click on the “Book Appointment” button.
    • Plan your route: If you’re planning a road trip, TripTik.AAA.com can help you plan your route and show which rest stops, gas stations, restaurants, attractions and hotels are open along the way.
    • Research hotel cleanliness: To help ensure hotel cleanliness, look for hotels that have earned the AAA Inspector’s Best of Housekeeping award by talking with a travel agent or filtering hotels on AAA.com/Travel. These are hotels that have achieved the highest possible scores for cleanliness by AAA’s professional inspectors. It’s also a good idea to call hotels ahead of time and ask what precautions they are taking to protect guests.
    • Stay up-to-date: In this ever-changing travel environment, it remains important to stay up-to-date on the latest travel guidelines and restrictions. Before you leave, visit AAA.com/Travel and click on the COVID-19 Restrictions Map for the latest state and local travel restrictions.

Survey Methodology

Survey findings are the result of a survey emailed to Ohio residents on Nov. 8, 2020. A total of 3,259 email recipients, ages 18 and older, completed the survey before it closed on Nov. 18, 2020. The margin of error for the study overall is 2% at the 95% confidence level.

AAA provides more than 61 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com.

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