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Holiday Travel Survey 2021: Nearly 63% (161 million American adults) to travel

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33% unwilling to celebrate with unvaccinated friends and family even winh negative test.

 

The Vacationer have posted 2021 Holiday Travel Survey for The Vacationer to find out how many Americans will travel this coming holiday season (Thanksgiving and Late December holidays), comfort levels, virtual holidays, and spending the holidays with unvaccinated people or people you dislike. 

The survey included 1,092 American adults over the age of 18 and was conducted online using SurveyMonkey's interface/audience on our behalf on October 17, 2021. I, Eric Jones, analyzed the survey, and I am an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Rowan College South Jersey. A complete methodology is listed at the bottom.

Key Stats:

  • Nearly 63% of all Americans aged 18 or older (161 million adults) will travel for at least one holiday this year (37% increase in holiday travel when compared to last year’s survey where the same question was asked).
  • Travel By Holiday: 

15.19% for Thanksgiving Only
20.22% for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa Only
27.17% for Both Thanksgiving and either Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa

  • One in three American adults are unwilling to celebrate the holidays with unvaccinated people regardless of a negative test. - Another 20.40% of American adults will celebrate with unvaccinated people if they receive a negative test. Only 46.66% of people will celebrate the holidays with unvaccinated Americans regardless if they take a COVID-19 test beforehand.
  • Nearly 43% feel more comfortable traveling this holiday season than last year.
  • More than one in three people will take part in a virtual holiday celebration this year.
  • More than one in three people will spend a holiday this year with at least one person they dislike.  More than one in five people said they will spend a holiday with two or more people they dislike. 53.11% of those aged 18-29 said they will spend a holiday with at least one person they dislike. On the other hand, only 14.05% of people over age 60 will spend a holiday with someone they dislike.

Here are the full results:
1. Do you plan on traveling to a vacation destination or gathering (by car, bus, train, airplane, etc.) during the holidays this year?

Thanksgiving. — 15.19%

  • Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa. — 20.22%
  • Both. — 27.17%
  • No. — 37.42%

Key Takeaway: Nearly 63% of all Americans aged 18 or older will travel for at least one holiday this year. Based on the latest census, this equates to more than 161 million adults. This figure includes 15.19% or 41 million American adults who will travel for Thanksgiving. Additionally, it includes the 20.22% or 52 million that will travel for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. Lastly, it includes the 27.17% or 70 million people that will travel for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. The data suggests a 37% increase in holiday travel when compared to last year’s survey where the same question was asked.

2. How comfortable do you feel traveling and gathering for the holidays this year compared to last?

  • More Comfortable. — 42.82%
  • Same as Last Year. — 46.57%
  • Less Comfortable. — 10.61%

Key Takeaway: Nearly 43% of all Americans aged 18 or older feel more comfortable traveling this holiday season than last. This figure represents over 110 million people.

3. Are you willing to celebrate the holidays with people who are unvaccinated from COVID-19?

  • Yes, regardless if they take a COVID-19 test beforehand. — 46.66%
  • Yes, but only if they receive a negative COVID-19 test beforehand. — 20.40%
  • No. — 32.94%

Key Takeaway: One in three American adults are unwilling to celebrate the holidays with unvaccinated people. This includes people who are unvaccinated and receive a negative COVID-19 test. This data suggests that nearly 85 million American adults are not willing to celebrate the holidays with family or friends even if they just tested negative for COVID-19. Another 20.40% of American adults will celebrate with unvaccinated people if they receive a negative test. Only 46.66% of people will celebrate the holidays with unvaccinated Americans regardless if they take a COVID-19 test beforehand.

4. Will you take part in any virtual holiday celebrations this year?

  • Yes, due to COVID-19 concerns or travel restrictions. — 19.30%
  • Yes, but it is unrelated to COVID-19. — 17.57%
  • No. — 63.13%

Key Takeaway: More than one in three people will take part in a virtual holiday celebration this year. This equates to about 95 million people. Additionally, nearly one in five people will take part in a virtual celebration this year specifically due to COVID-19.

5. Will you spend any holiday this year such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. with someone you dislike?

  • Yes, but only one person. — 13.17%
  • Yes, more than one person. — 21.23%
  • No. — 65.60%

Interesting Demographic Comparison — The youngest American adults are significantly more likely to spend a holiday this year with someone they dislike. The difference between the youngest and oldest generations is drastic. 53.11% of those aged 18-29 said they will spend a holiday with at least one person they dislike. On the other hand, only 14.05% of people over age 60 will spend a holiday with someone they dislike. The youngest generation is more than twice as likely to spend a holiday with two or more people they dislike than the older generation is to spend it with any amount of people they dislike.

Key Takeaway: More than one in three people will spend a holiday this year with at least one person they dislike. This equates to nearly 89 million people. We all have some people in our family that we 'deal' with during family occasions. However, 89 million people saying they dislike someone seems like a lot! Additionally, more than one in five people said they will spend a holiday with two or more people they dislike. This figure equates to nearly 55 million people.

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