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AAA Survey Finds COVID-19 Still Discouraging Floridians To Travel

Cars drive on Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg in June 2020.
AAA says more than 68% of Floridians canceled travel plans in 2020.

A recent AAA survey found enthusiasm for travel is still down almost a year into the coronavirus pandemic.

A recent survey conducted by AAA said Floridians are still reluctant to travel, almost one year into the coronavirus pandemic.

The top three reasons people gave for avoiding travel are: fear of getting sick, fear of the coronavirus variants and the number of COVID-19 cases.

AAA says more than 68% of Floridians canceled travel plans in 2020.

“Most people feel comfortable driving in their vehicle, like you said, about 70% are uncomfortable flying, and about half are leery about staying in a hotel. You know, more than half are uncomfortable traveling right now,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said.

Jenkins said because this is a “confusing” time to travel, AAA is recommending people use travel agents.

“Because they're the ones who know about travel deals," Jenkins said. "And they can also help explain the variables involved with policies and restrictions for your trip.”

Jenkins also said trip insurance is worth looking into, but be sure you read the fine print.

Nearly 63% of Floridians say they expect to take a trip of three days or more this year. And there is growing optimism in the travel industry, he said, because of the coronavirus vaccine.

AAA Travel Advisors are seeing an increase in interest in bookings for the latter half of this year, according to a release. And 42% of those surveyed said they’d feel more comfortable traveling once they’d gotten both of their COVID-19 vaccine doses.

AAA said its Consumer Pulse Survey was conducted online among 400 Florida residents from Jan. 15-21. And the maximum margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. It further stated responses were weighted by age and gender to “ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population 18 and over in Florida.”

/ AAA, The Auto Group

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Susan Giles Wantuck is our midday news host, and a producer and reporter for WUSF Public Media who focuses her storytelling on arts, culture and history.