Holiday Travel Cleared for Take Off, but COVID-19 Continues to Impact the Journey


New YorkAnd November 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/-

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  • After more than a year and a half of the epidemic, the holiday travel season is off to a strong start 3 out of 10 trips Americans plan to take on Thanksgiving.
  • Over the course of the holiday travel season, two-thirds of travelers will travel and/or stay in paid accommodation. More than half (58%) of travelers say they expect it Spend the same on travel As they did in 2019, 1 in 5 will spend Significantly more, driven by high-income families.
  • Still travelers Concerned about COVID-19 and they are adopt mitigation measures, saying they were more likely to book a flight if masking (64%) or vaccinations (58%) required.
  • Flexibility in the workplace provides a boost to vacation travel 75% of travelers who plan to work during their trips add extra days because of the ability to Distance working.

Why is this important
The holidays are a time to bond with family and friends, and returning to travel this year will lift the spirits of many. According to Deloitte’s inaugural report, “2021 Deloitte Holiday Travel Survey,” Americans plan to go to the roads and skies, as well as hotels and private rentals, to revive holiday traditions, but health and financial concerns remain on their minds. The report is based on a survey of 6,512 Americans who were sent September 9-23Of these, 2,759 eligible travelers, and a smaller subset of 1,501 travelers indicated they would stay in paid accommodations during the holiday season.


Travelers carefully plan their holidays
The survey reveals plenty of reason to hope for a strong rebound in leisure travel, but due to ongoing health and financial concerns, some consumers are planning to celebrate the holidays at home. For those who do not travel, worrying about the health of loved ones and waiting for the pandemic to pass are major reasons to stay home, eliminating financial worries.

  • The holiday travel season is off to a strong start with 3 out of 10 trips Americans plan to take on Thanksgiving. InclusiveAnd 42% of Americans plan to travel between Thanksgiving and mid-January, taking an average of two trips during the season.
  • Older Americans are more cautious about the season: 36% of those aged over 55 plan to travel, compared to 45% of those aged 18 to 34. Those 55 or older are also less likely to be involved in travel activities and experiences. For example, 13% will attend a public event or tickets, compared to 35% of 18-34 year olds, and 27% will visit a major landmark, compared to 53% of 18-34 year olds.
  • About twice as many travelers plan a road trip (70%) versus a flight (37%), citing pleasure (38%) and comfort (28%) as the top reasons, over health (12%).
  • More than a third of holiday travelers (37%) will take a flight during vacations. Domestic travelers avoid layovers; Only 6% plan to take a domestic trip that requires a connection. Nearly 1 in 3 of those who will travel are planning an international trip.
  • While 60% will take trips that include a stay with friends or family, slightly fewer (54%) will stay in a hotel or private rental. Approximately quarterly plan to stay in paid accommodation and with friends and relatives all season.
  • The pandemic continues to attract new private rent travelers: 43% of those staying in vacation rentals have experienced this type of accommodation for the first time during the pandemic. Three out of four new private renters expect to continue using rentals for at least half of their trips from now on.

Income gap deepens across the travel sector
Divergent spending on leisure travel for vacations makes the experience enjoyable for some, and bah-nonsense for many others. Most travelers say they expect to spend the same amount on travel as they did in 2019, and 1 in 5 will spend significantly more. However, a greater proportion of lower-income families will spend significantly less, and are three times more likely to cite financial reasons for staying at home.


  • High-income Americans are nearly twice as likely to travel this holiday season as lower-income Americans (53% vs 32%).
  • Spending intent also varies widely. Compared to 2019, 26% of low-income travelers plan to spend less on vacation travel, compared to 30% of high-income travelers who plan to spend significantly more. Nearly half (48%) of high-income travelers will spend more than 5000 dollars on their longest trip, while half (50%) of low-income travelers will spend less than 1000 dollars.
  • While 43% of travelers will take one trip during the holiday season, 1 in 3 high-income travelers will travel three or more times, compared to 1 in 5 low- and middle-income travelers who travel with the same frequency.
  • Furthermore, high-income travelers are more likely to stay in paid accommodation (63% versus 43% for low-income travelers), and nearly twice as likely to travel (48% versus 26% for low-income travelers).
  • The frequency of travelers driving their own cars for vacation travel is roughly equal across income levels (56% for low-income travelers, 58% for middle-income travelers, and 55% for high-income travelers).

quote key
“After nearly two years of pandemic isolation, people are longing for the warm embrace of family and friends. Americans are ready to travel and experience the holiday festivities together, and the industry is preparing to welcome them back. Travel companies that can stay true to their offerings and provide the best customer experience in a season. This holiday, and you’ll be well-positioned to succeed.”

Mike and thenVice President – Leading American Transportation, Hospitality and Services, Deloitte LLP

Travelers adopt the requirements of the Corona virus
Ongoing health concerns continue to affect when and how Americans travel this holiday season. When choosing a destination, travelers consider their vaccination status, local COVID-19 restrictions, and the ability to avoid crowds.

  • Most travelers adopt measures to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. Nearly two-thirds (64%) are more likely to book a flight if masking is required, and 58% say the same for proof of vaccination.
  • Two-thirds of high-income travelers say vaccine requirements make them more inclined to fly. However, 16% of travelers say a vaccine requirement would make them less likely to fly; 10% say the same for concealment.
  • Vaccination status of those on travel and destination COVID-19 restrictions are the most important factors in determining where to travel this season.
  • With so many trips spurred by visits from friends and family, 42% will head to cities for vacation. Beaches (22%) and the great outdoors (16%) are other top travel destinations that offer the ability to relax and avoid crowds.
  • Travelers under 55 are 4.5 times more likely to travel with children, and the children’s vaccination status will affect their vacation plans. One in 10 Americans under 55 cite their unvaccinated children as a reason to stay home, and one in seven cite a reason not to stay in paid housing.

The gift of remote work enhances holiday travel
Ongoing flexibility in the workplace and remote work continues to provide a boon to the travel industry, as working travelers take more trips, increase their budgets and extend their stay.

  • While most will separate completely, 4 in 10 travelers will be working for at least part of their trip this holiday season.
  • Working vacationers take twice as many trips this holiday season as those who plan to disconnect on their vacations.
  • Three-quarters of travelers (75%) who plan to work during their trip add at least one day to their stay as a result. And more than half (57%) will add three or more days to the longest leisure trip because they have the ability to work remotely.
  • Working vacationers are more than twice as likely to increase their leisure travel budget as compared to 2019. The company’s work-from-home policies have been cited as a key factor in increasing travel budgets.

quote key
Thanksgiving is traditionally among the busiest travel times, and this year, the long weekend marks a strong start to the holiday travel season. Despite ongoing health and financial concerns, pent-up demand for tradition, travel, and the need for rest and post-lockdown holidays will lead to Reinforce intent over the coming months. As a result, consumers should solidify and book their plans early to ensure they are comfortable with and understand travel providers’ choices and COVID-19 policies.”

Eileen CrowleyVice President – Leader of American Transportation, Hospitality and Services, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Connect with us on Twitter at Tweet embed or on LinkedIn: MikeDaher and EileenCrowley.

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