In the next six months, 74% of consumers reported they will continue to prioritize the cleanliness rating of their accommodation when deciding where to stay. Consumers also said they’re more likely to splurge on pricey accommodations and travel options if it means they have strict COVID-19 hygiene protocols, 50%, and consumers also say they are more likely to invest in priority travel passes to avoid crowds, 49%.
When it comes to wearing masks, nearly two in three consumers say they will continue to wear them while traveling, even after it’s no longer required. Of those wearing masks, 39% say they’ll continue to wear them in public spaces, like a hotel or resort, and 36% say they will wear masks when at a transportation hub, such as an airport or bus station.
Consumers in Control
When deciding where to vacation, consumers report the cost of their destination, 87%, and the flexibility of cancellation policies, 86%, are the most important factors, outranking the spread of COVID-19 variants, 80%, and the number of positive COVID-19 cases, 80%, in a destination area.
Sixty-two percent of consumers say they are hesitant to take modes of transportation where they have to be near others. Over half of U.S. consumers are planning to drive to their next destination, with just 39% reporting they’ll fly. Most consumers report plans to take a road trip in the next six months, 29%, followed by a beach vacation, 21%.
For six in 10 respondents, these trips may be closer to home as consumers say they’re more likely to travel locally than take large trips across the country.
Credit cards are the preferred payment method
Fifty-five percent of consumers cite credit cards as their preferred method of payment while on vacation – a 16 percentage point increase from Discover’s 2019 travel survey.
Additionally, given the pandemic’s impact on travel and the need to avoid touching as many surfaces as possible, 56% of consumers say they will leverage contactless payments more frequently while traveling.
With credit card points and rewards stacking up the past year, about one-third of consumers say they’re planning to redeem their rewards for vacation-related expenses.
About the Survey
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a Dynata (formerly Research Now/SSI) survey conducted on behalf of Discover Financial Services. The survey was conducted online; fielded from April 23 - 28, 2021 with a total sample size of 2,000 US adults (ages 18+). The margin of sampling error was ±2 percentage points with a 90-95 percent level of confidence. The following generational breaks were used when examining the data: Gen Z (18-22), Millennials (23-38), Gen X (39-54), and Baby Boomers (55-73).