While Americans remain apprehensive about summer travel, a new survey that MMGY conducted for the U.S. Travel Association shows that the desire to make a warm-weather getaway has not completely vanished.

Thirty-six percent of the respondents to the Travel Intentions Pulse Survey that was made from May 1-6 said they were still planning on taking a domestic leisure trip in the next six months, a slight dip from the 38 percent who said they had such plans in the April 17-22 version of the survey.

The preferred way of getting to a travel destination was—by a large margin—the family car. More than two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) said they felt safe traveling in their own car, while only 18 percent said they felt safe traveling on a domestic flight, 13 percent said they were comfortable traveling on a train, and only 11 percent thought that traveling on an ocean or river cruise would be safe.


As regards the travel destination itself, parks (34 percent) and beaches (26 percent) were thought to be the safest options, with hotels/resorts coming in at 18 percent. All indoor group activities ranked low on the perceived level of safety, with bars/restaurants being thought of as safe by only 13 percent of respondents, and indoor concerts, performances and movies got just a 12 percent approval rating.

Keeping things close to home is also a priority for summer travelers. Just 19 percent of respondents said they would be willing to drive more than 500 miles on a leisure trip in the next six months, with 53 percent preferring to limit themselves to trips of 200 miles or less.

And, as might be expected, international travel got a pretty big thumbs-down from survey participants. About one-fifth (19 percent) said there was a possibility that they would make an international leisure trip in the next six months.

For most travelers. the biggest consideration in making their summer plans was slowing down the spread of COVID-19 in the US, which was cited by 58 percent of the survey respondents. Forty-five percent said the easing of travel restrictions would play a big role in determining their vacation itinerary, with just 37 percent saying that getting a great deal would influence their decision.

The online survey, which MMGY has been conducting biweekly since March 27, polls 1200 US residents who have taken an overnight trip for either business or pleasure over the past 12 months. To see the complete report, click here.