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 percent) 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 percent of Americans are willing to commit to personal travel more than six months out.
Among those planning to travel for the holidays, 78 percent say they will travel by car with many choosing to drive as a safety precaution. With safety being a high priority, many travelers are also planning around some form of quarantine. The majority of travelers (70 percent) plan to quarantine in some way upon returning home, while 64 percent plan to do so leading up to their trip and then again once they arrive at their destination (61 percent). 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.”
On The Road Again
While one-in-four (26 percent) will stay home for the holidays, up from 9 percent prior to the onset of COVID-19, overall Americans are feeling more confident about getting behind the wheel. The Gauge revealed that daily driving is returning to more normal levels than reported in the spring.
- Currently 60 percent of Americans are driving daily, compared to April when only 20 percent hit the road every day, and road trips are a significant part of that.
- Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) 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 percent) than by plane (24 percent).
- However, Hankook found that while 93 percent of millennials have already taken a road trip this year, the majority of boomers (54 percent) and the Silent Generation (70 percent) said that they are not comfortable traveling long distance, no matter the form of transportation.
“The Gauge revealed signs of daily driving returning to a more normal cadence, but even still, there is uncertainty about hitting the road,” Jung added. “No matter when you feel comfortable getting back behind the wheel or where you’re headed once you do, Hankook looks forward to helping you and your family get there safely.”
The Hankook Tire Gauge Index is a survey of Americans' attitudes and opinions about driving. The latest installment of the survey, conducted September 24-27, 2020, polled 1,044 randomly selected Americans age 18+ who have a valid U.S. driver’s license.