This generation is the most desperate to get back to traveling

As summer takes hold and people delete the vacations they had planned pre-coronavirus from their calendars, many are reflecting on the day they will be able to travel once again.

As a part of Fuel’s COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Study series, the company surveyed people on how they feel about traveling in a post-coronavirus world.

The study breaks down the data by age group (Millennials, Generation X, Boomers), household income (<$50K, $50-100K, >$100K), and location (hot spots and Canada).

As a result, the survey, which was conducted on May 14 and had over 7,000 respondents, was able to conclude which generation will be hitting the roads (or skies) first to get back to vacationing.

Which generation will travel first?

Across the study, Millennial respondents consistently answered that they will be more willing to travel sooner than Gen X and Baby Boomer respondents. These results are not surprising, as Millennials characteristically love to travel and experience new cultures.

Millennials are less risk-averse and will spend less money than other age groups. Lower income brackets are like to spend less than they have for past travel plans by having shorter stays at more affordable properties.

When it comes to booking their next vacation, Millennials are concerned about the flexibility in being able to change the dates of their trip without penalty, with 71% saying this is an important factor in persuading them to book a trip during the coronavirus outbreak.

What is even more persuasive to Millennials? Discounts. According to the most recent survey, 74% of Millennial respondents said that discounts would persuade them to book a future vacation during the pandemic.

Only 11% of Millennials could not at all be persuaded to book a trip during the pandemic, which was down from 16% on the survey sent out two weeks prior. With remote work, those booking trips might not even have to use their PTO.

On the other hand, 25% of Baby Boomers could not be persuaded to book a trip, which decreased from 32% two weeks prior.

When will people feel ready to travel again?

For distances of driving up to two hours:

  • 66% of consumers will be ready for this type of travel within three months of restrictions being lifted
  • 36% would be willing to do this type of travel within one month
  • 31% will feel comfortable in the one-to-three month window

Just under half of respondents said they would be willing to drive up to six hours within three months.

What about flying?

Only 22% of respondents said they would feel comfortable flying over the next three months. Those who made $100K or more per year were willing to fly within 12 months, with 69% saying they would feel comfortable flying within the year. For respondents in the $50K to $100K group, 59% of respondents said they would fly within the year  compared to 53% of those who made less than $50K per year.

Vacations in 2020

According to the study, 65% of people intend to take a vacation in 2020 and 15% plan to in 2021. A solid 18% said they were still undecided, and 3% said flat out “no.”

If you are considering booking a trip for 2020, find out experts advice on booking trips during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bookings are cheaper than usual, so is it really that much of a surprise that 34% of people have already booked their next vacation? Of the respondents, 63% said they have nothing booked for an upcoming trip at the moment.

As there are many who are not booking trips, the survey asked respondents what would make them feel comfortable enough to book a trip while the coronavirus pandemic continues. Almost 70% of people chose flexibility to change without penalty as the situation that would make them feel comfortable enough to book a vacation right now.

A little over 20% of respondents said that they could not be persuaded to book a trip right now.

Jennifer Fabiano is an SEO reporter at Ladders.