A new Vacation Study from NordVPN surveyed 1,007 consumers about their personal security and safety concerns with travel in the upcoming summer months. More than half (53%) said they plan to go on summer vacation this year, yet 16% are still undecided. While nearly one quarter (23%) said “nothing” would stop them, others have a breaking point for taking a summer vacation this year, including:
- 41% - A surge in COVID-19
- 40% - Another pandemic
- 31% - Unsure where to go that is safe from COVID-19
- 22% - Making vaccine passports essential to travel
- 14% - A resort/hotel without secure internet access
Should another surge in COVID-19 happen this summer, 55% will consider cancelling their vacations altogether. Additionally, more than half of Americans are either concerned about booking their vacation too far in advance because certain countries may enforce travel bans ahead of their vacation timing (54%), destinations will be limited because of COVID-19 risks in certain countries (50%) or that summer vacation destinations will be limited because of vaccination privileges regarding passports or testing (53%).
This all while two thirds of Americans (66%) said they would get a vaccine passport if it were required to travel, even though the US may not require vaccine passports, 62% would still get one if it’s required to visit other countries. However, 39% are concerned that vaccine passports may not be available to you for use during their summer vacation, and 65% feel the same or less secure traveling now that some people are vaccinated, but others are not.
When asked what Americans would “give up in order to go on a safe and unrestricted summer vacation this year”, 18% would give up things like sex, snacks or even using the internet, and even more would give up:
- 36% - Gambling
- 33% - Drinking alcohol
- 32% - Video games
- 32% - Social Media
- 28% - Marijuana
- 20% - Watching/streaming movies and TV shows
Vacation Travel: Concerns with Internet Access
More than half of Americans say they use public Wi-Fi when they travel, including 61% that use public Wi-Fi in hotels and another 38% that use public Wi-Fi to make online purchases or access bank accounts while on the road. This all while concerns for their security on public Wi-Fi is very high in airports (63%), hotels (62%) and restaurants and bars (62%).
The survey also reports that some travelers go to lengths to protect themselves, with more than one third (36%) that use different passwords when they travel abroad (internationally). When it comes to changing passwords needed for travel anywhere, 20% change them both before they leave and after they return, 18% only change passwords before traveling, 16% only change them after traveling and 46% do not change any passwords when traveling.
“Most public Wi-Fi networks lack even the most basic security measures, making users huge targets for hackers,” said Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “That is why using a VPN, which encrypts all traffic through mobile devices, is one of the most secure methods travelers can take to protect their information while using public Wi-Fi.”