The average American spent 176 hours scrolling social media for travel inspiration throughout the past year, according to new research from Motel 6. On the heels of the one-year anniversary of the health crisis, the economy lodging brand released a survey revealing that three in five (60%) Americans experienced a stronger desire to travel in the past 12 months than in a normal year and hope to turn that into a reality in 2021.
The survey, which polled 2,000 U.S. adults, found that one in four (24%) respondents have been scrolling for travel inspiration this past year as an outlet for their pent-up desire to travel. Of those who have been scrolling through social media, three-fourths (76%) said it has made them want to travel more, and almost two-thirds (63%) said it has helped them remain happy over the course of the last unprecedented year.
“We are starting to see a great deal of enthusiasm for returning to travel, and as the survey results demonstrate, travelers have been dreaming about and planning for that day for some time, no doubt a welcome distraction throughout the health crisis,” said Rob Palleschi, CEO of G6 Hospitality.
What travelers need to feel safe
Three-quarters (76%) of Americans weren’t able to travel as much as they had hoped during 2020, and it’s been almost seven months since the average respondent last traveled for fun. On top of that, 55% of respondents said they’re waiting to travel until after they have personally received the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, seven in 10 (69%) have travel plans for 2021 and the respondents who feel safe traveling in 2021 are most likely to travel by car (54%), leading to more than half (56%) of Americans saying they’re more likely to take a road trip in 2021 than in previous years.
Three in five (58%) respondents stated that they’re worried about staying with family or friends due to the ongoing health crisis, therefore half (49%) of respondents are more likely to stay at a hotel if traveling this year. Requirements to wear masks in public areas (45%), knowing about enhanced cleaning services (38%) and capacity limitations (37%) are the top things that would make respondents feel safer when staying at a hotel or motel this year.