Daytona Beach, FL - A new travel survey from AAA finds that 60 percent of Floridians are uncomfortable with traveling during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the AAA Consumer Pulse Survey, the main concerns among Sunshine State travelers is the fear of getting sick, the new strains of the virus, and the number of COVID-19 cases reported in the state. As of Wednesday morning (February 10th), Florida's total of reported COVID-19 cases was less than 10,000 cases shy of 1.8 million.
AAA additionally found that over two-thirds of Floridians canceled or rescheduled their travel plans in 2020. Currently, nearly half of Floridians are comfortable staying in a hotel while 32 percent feel comfortable taking a commercial flight. The majority of Floridians—over 80 percent, per AAA—feel most comfortable traveling in their personal vehicle.
However, even though the pandemic is far from over, AAA's survey discovered that there appears to be growing confidence among some travelers. Almost a quarter of Floridians say they are more comfortable traveling now than when the pandemic began—which is up by 7 percentage points from the last time AAA surveyed in October.
The survey found that the growth in confidence can be attributed by the implementation of mask use and cleaning policies, increased confidence in medical treatments and outcomes, more knowledge about how the virus spreads, and having taken a trip without contracting the virus.
Almost two-thirds of Floridians plan to take a vacation of three days or more sometime in 2021. Nearly half of the survey respondents also plan to take multiple trips. However, 2 in 5 residents say they will feel more comfortable traveling after receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"The Covid-19 vaccine truly is the key to restoring Americans’ confidence in traveling again," said Mark Jenkins, spokesperson for AAA. "With health experts predicting widespread vaccinations by the summer, AAA Travel Advisors are seeing growing interest in bookings for the second half of the year."
About 40 percent of respondents plan on traveling after cases begin to decrease. Additional survey highlights from AAA show that 77 percent of respondents plan on wearing a mask in public while traveling while 41 percent are more likely to visit a destination that has a mask mandate.
On the inverse, 68 percent of respondents don't plan on traveling in the first quarter of 2021; over half of those respondents cite the pandemic as a reason why.