Half of Americans are Likely to Take a Summer Vacation and Many Plan to Spend Big

Majority of potential travelers value coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols

New York – April 21, 2021 – Half of U.S. adults (50%) are likely to take at least one vacation this summer (June – September 2021), according to a new study by The Points Guy and Healthline Media. The interest in taking a summer vacation rises with those who are likely to get a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine or are already vaccinated (54%) versus not likely to get a vaccine (40%). Of those who aren’t taking a summer vacation, more than 2-in-5 say they can’t afford it (41%), the most popular reason overall. Click here for more information: http://thepointsguy.com/guide/summer-vacation-cost-health-trends.

While 27% are very likely and 23% are somewhat likely to take a vacation this summer, those numbers rise for millennials (ages 25-40, 59% at least somewhat likely), parents with children under the age of 18 (65%), and those earning $80k+ per year (70%).

Of those who are at least somewhat likely to take a summer vacation, over four in ten (43%) anticipate spending more than $1,000, including 20% who think they’ll spend more than $2,000. Fifty percent say they will spend $1,000 or less and 7% don’t know. The likelihood to spend more than $1,000 increases with age: 53% of baby boomers (ages 57-75), 45% of Gen X (ages 41-56), 40% of millennials, and 20% of Gen Z (ages 18-24).

“Some Americans may not have had a summer vacation since 2019, and so there's clearly a lot of pent-up demand,” says Melanie Lieberman, senior travel editor at The Points Guy. “Nearly half of prospective travelers plan to spend more than $1,000 on their summer vacations, which indicates they're ready to make up for lost time by spending more for bigger trips.”

Of those who are likely to take a vacation this summer, nearly half (49%) say they are interested in taking a road trip. Other popular activities and destinations include interest in visiting a state or national park (39%); visiting a public beach (38%); going to an outdoor event such as a festival, sporting event, etc. (28%); camping (23%); visiting a big city (22%); attending an indoor event/venue such as theater, museum, comedy show, etc. (21%) and visiting a resort (20%), staycation (20%), visiting a theme park (18%), traveling abroad (15%) and taking a cruise (9%).

Potential travelers this summer travel season are overwhelmingly in favor of COVID-19 protocols at their destinations; just 15% say they prefer limited or no precautions. Opinions differ between those who are likely to get a vaccine/already vaccinated and those who have no plans to get a vaccine: 38% of potential travelers who are unlikely to get the vaccine would prefer limited or no precautions versus only 9% of those who are vaccinated/plan to get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, those thinking of traveling this summer would find safety measures important like social distancing rules (50%); mandated masks (48%); strict cleaning protocols, such as wiping down and cleaning seats, rides, tables, etc. (48%); being able to make reservations ahead of time (40%); vaccine passports/proof of vaccinations (34%); temperature checks conducted upon arrival (31%) and negative COVID-19 tests (27%). Just 9% would see value in quarantine upon arrival.

“The most important aspect of traveling is to always stay safe and healthy. No one wants their vacation to be spoiled by being ill,” says Laurie Dewan, Healthline Media Vice President of Brand, Insights and Communications. “Even if you’re vaccinated, it’s still a good idea to wear a mask, stay six feet from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands frequently. This is good advice for staying healthy even if we’re not in a pandemic.”

Of those who are likely to skip a summer vacation, the most common reason is affordability (41%), followed by 29% who are not interested in taking any vacations, and 28% who worry about their health while traveling due to COVID-19. Less popular reasons include no desire to wear a mask or deal with other mandates (10%), too many family obligations and inability to take time off from work (both 9%), no interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine (7%), already having travel plans for later in the year (6%) and children not being able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine yet (6%). Eight percent say “other,” and 4% say “don’t know.”

Overall, 41% of U.S. adults are likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available to them (28% very likely and 13% somewhat likely), versus 26% who are unlikely (9% not too likely and 17% not at all likely). One-third of U.S. adults say they already received the vaccine.

For more information on traveling this summer, please visit The Points Guy (https://thepointsguy.com/guide/covid-19-vaccine-affecting-travel/) and Healthline Media (https://www.healthline.com/health-news/im-vaccinated-my-kids-arent-whats-safe-for-us-to-do)


The Points Guy and Healthline Media commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,575 adults, including 1,299 adults who are likely to go on a vacation in summer 2021. Fieldwork was undertaken April 7-9, 2021. The survey was carried out online and met rigorous quality standards. It employed a non-probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.

About The Points Guy:

The Points Guy (TPG) is a trusted travel and lifestyle media platform that focuses on maximizing travel experiences while minimizing spending. Through an informative, clever point of view, TPG has become the leading online site for all things points, miles and resourceful travel experiences. The site’s editorial content consists of firsthand flight, hotel and airplane reviews; curated travel guides and immersive video components; as well as global event activations. Since its launch in 2010, founder and CEO Brian Kelly has expanded the team to include a distinguished editorial staff and extensive network of freelancers around the globe. Today, TPG reaches 10 million unique monthly visitors and more than 3 million followers across social media platforms.

About Healthline:

San Francisco-based Healthline Media’s mission is to empower people to be their strongest and healthiest selves by being a trusted ally in their pursuit of health and well-being. The company’s properties include Healthline.com, MedicalNewsToday.com, Greatist.com and PsychCentral.com. Healthline Media’s sites provide evidence-based articles with the highest standards of medical integrity that support the modern health consumer with a whole-person approach to health and wellness. Healthline Media is the top-ranked health publisher and number 39 on Comscore’s Top 100 Property rankings through January 2020. Across all of its properties, Healthline Media publishes articles authored by more than 120 writers and reviewed by more than 100 doctors, clinicians, dietitians, and other experts. The company’s repository contains more than 70,000 articles, each updated with current protocol. More than 250 million people worldwide and 87 million people in the U.S. visit Healthline’s sites each month, according to data from Google Analytics and Comscore, respectively. Healthline Media is owned by Red Ventures.

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About Healthline Media

As the #1 health media property in the US, Healthline Media reaches more than 94MM unique visitors each month (Comscore, August 2021). We provide credible health information with a compassionate approach.