Hankook Tire says despite anxiety and uncertainty spurred by COVID-19, a majority of Americans still plan to travel this holiday season, according to the Hankook Tire Gauge Index.
Three-quarters of Americans (74%) plan to travel for the holidays, however, they’re changing how and when they venture out. At the same time, apprehension about planning travel far in advance is on the rise, as only 16% of Americans are willing to commit to personal travel more than six months out.
Among those planning to travel for the holidays, 78% say they will travel by car, choosing to drive as a safety precaution, Hankook says. With safety being a high priority, many travelers are also planning around some form of quarantine. The majority of travelers (70%) plan to quarantine in some way upon returning home, while 64% plan to do so leading up to their trip and then again once they arrive at their destination (61%). Americans are also adjusting when they travel, as three-quarters are planning to travel early to avoid typical peak travel times.
“As with so much this year, it’s difficult to predict exactly how holiday travel will pan out, but our latest survey finds that the rules of the road are changing for the holidays,” said Peter Jung, SVP and COO, Hankook Tire America Corp. “More people will hit the road this year as a way to see family and friends. To stay safe, they’re modifying plans to beat the traffic and allow time to quarantine. At the same time, home for the holidays is taking on new meaning as more Americans plan to stay closer to home.”
While one-in-four (26%) will stay home for the holidays, up from 9% prior to the onset of COVID-19, overall Americans are feeling more confident about getting behind the wheel, Hankook says. The Gauge revealed that daily driving is returning to more normal levels than reported in the spring, the company adds. Hankook says:
- Currently 60% of Americans are driving daily, compared to April when only 20% hit the road every day, and road trips are a significant part of that.
- Nearly three-quarters (72%) of those surveyed said they have taken a road trip since the onset of the pandemic, either out of necessity or for leisure.
- Road trips are also rising in popularity compared to air travel, as Americans are currently two times more comfortable traveling long distances by car (46%) than by plane (24%).
- However, Hankook found that while 93% of millennials have already taken a road trip this year, the majority of boomers (54%) and the Silent Generation (70%) said that they are not comfortable traveling long distance, no matter the form of transportation.
The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a survey of Americans’ attitudes and opinions about driving. The latest installment of the survey, conducted Sept. 24-27, polled 1,044 randomly selected Americans age 18+ who have a valid U.S. driver’s license.