reader survey: international travel and coronavirus
In May, Alpaca Your Bags Travel asked our blog readers and social media followers to complete a short survey about travel and coronavirus. The objective was to do a temperature check on everyone's fears and concerns regarding travel after COVID-19. We plan to repeat the survey at the end of the summer; stay tuned!
The survey had 70 total respondents and ended on June 1. Respondents were entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Congrats to Korinne for being the winner!
question 1: Are You Interested in International travel in 2020?
This was exciting for me to see. Nearly 40% of our respondents are interested in international travel in 2020. As a travel agent specializing in all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, this made my heart happy! The easiest and most popular international destination for Americans to visit after COVID-19 will likely be Mexico. As of today, the ban on non-essential travel between the U.S. and Mexico is set to expire on June 22, 2020.
question 2: are you interested in domestic travel in 2020?
Nearly 50% of our respondents are interested in domestic travel in 2020. I don't think this result is surprising; all of us are anxious to get out of our local areas and domestic travel seems to be the most viable alternative at the moment. Alpaca Your Bags Travel has not traditionally offered services for domestic travel, outside of Alaska in Hawaii. I am exploring this on a very limited basis in 2020 and 2021. I'll be offering options for domestic luxury resorts, spa resorts and vacation home rentals in the U.S. this year... stay tuned for more details!
If you are considering a short-term vacation rental for 2020, please make sure that you are staying up-to-date on ever changing state legislature regarding Airbnb, VRBO, etc. For example, did you know that Florida temporarily banned short-term vacation rentals during the peak of the COVID-19 quarantine? While this has been re-instated in some counties, please do your homework. If you would like assistance with finding a vacation home rental, please contact me! This is another concierge service we are exploring.
question 3: what is your timeline for taking future trips?
We are ready to GET OUT Of the house! More than 65% of respondents are interested in taking a trip within the next six months. The good news? There is a light at the end of the tunnel! Each day, we receive more information about border openings for destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.
If you are preparing for travel down the road, please check your passport TODAY to make sure it is still valid. The US State Department has advised that passport applications will resume in phases and that delays of several months are likely.
question 4: what destinations are you interested in traveling to after covid-19?
Not surprising, 70% of respondents are interested in traveling in the US. I myself have a roadtrip to Orange Beach, Alabama planned for next month!
Also encouraging: respondents are also interested in the Caribbean and Mexico. Since I specialize in these destinations, I can't wait to start planning your future trips!
With so many trips pushed from 2020 into next year, these destinations are selling out much faster than normal. As I work with destination wedding couples, we have already found weeks in April, May and June that are completely sold out. If you are planning a vacation next year, now is the time. Make sure to schedule your free planning consultation so we can get started asap!
question 5: what type of travel experience is most interesting to you right now?
Most of our respondents are interested in all-inclusive beach resort travel (this isn't shocking, considering this was a survey of my subscribers and social media followers!)
However, please keep this in mind: There are very few options for affordable all-inclusives in the US or US territories. Our United States liquor laws and labor laws make the all-inclusive model much more expensive than what many travelers are used to. It's not impossible, but it will come at a premium price.
All-Inclusive options in the United States are also extremely limited and are booking at a record pace. If all-inclusive is your jam, its best to focus on international destinations.
Will hotels start to ffer more all-inclusive options in the U.S.? Only time will tell. My gut instinct tells me that travelers are not ready to pay the premium prices that this requires.
question 6: are you interested in adults only or family vacations after covid-19?
Leave the kids at home: Most of our respondents want an adults-only vacation. It's a good thing that there are literally hundreds of all-inclusive options for adults only! If it's time for you to reconnect with your significant other, allow me to help you plan the perfect getaway. Honeymoon and anniversary trips are the vacations I'm planning the most right now!
question 7: How long do you want to be gone for your next vacation?
We want vacations, we want them now and w want to be gone for a week. Nearly everyone wants to be gone 5-7 nights or even longer. I suspect that many people might plan shorter, domestic trips to "test the waters" and then set their sights on longer vacations in the near future.
question 8: what are your biggest concerns about traveling during the age of covid-19?
OH yes, I made a word cloud. Don't forget, I worked in advertising for 15 years before travel! It will not shock anyone to hear that health and safety were the top comments for this write-in question. Below are some of the top verbatim comments:
- I'm concerned about resorts having limited amenities which would reduce the overall vacation experience
- I would like a COVID-19 vaccine before I travel
- None! I believe the airlines and hotels have stepped up their game in terms of cleanliness and preventative measures
- I'm worried that prices will jump from what I've budgeted for
- I don't want to be stuck in another country if another lockdown occurs
- I don't want to be exposed to COVID-19; I prefer to drive to avoid airports
- Everyone freaking out and my flights getting canceled
- I don't want to be hindered by health
- Will things be open? How are different countries handling reopening? What are they doing to keep things clean?
question 9: how can alpaca your bags travel help you during this time?
These were fun to read. Here are some of my favorite verbatim comments from respondents:
- Keep being your amazing , positive, knowledgeable selves (Aw, thank you!)
- You have been wonderful support with re-booking my daughter's destination wedding. I'm so glad she chose to work with you
- Please give updates when people are traveling and what is happening
- WE NEED ADVENTURE IN OUR LIVES
- Updates on travel bans/changes outside of the US
- Stay awesome
- Keep us up to date on precautions the destinations are taking
- Don't go out of business (Ha, thank you!)
- I love how open and honest you are, Keep it up and thanks for sharing all of your tips!
- Present flexible options for insurance/ refunds should our plans change
- Stay safe until we can travel again
- Tips & tricks for adapting to this new way of life
- Make COVID-19 go away? Please?
- A monthly travel outlook would be cool: border openings, destination updates, etc.
- I'd like to go to UNICO (so would I!)
- Keep the information coming!
- I'd like to know how things will change in the future: Do I need to buy my plane tickets further in advance or closer to my travel dates? Is my health at a higher risk at a resort?
- What locations are offering amazing prices to bolster tourist revenue?
after the survey: what happens next?
I really enjoyed reading the survey results and I'm SO glad that we sent it. It was encouraging (and helpful!) to see that there is still so much excitement for travel, especially during this absolutely insane time. On a personal note, it was uplifting to read so many positive comments at the end. There have been some tough days in the travel industry lately; reading your comments gave me fuel to keep moving forward.
As for future content, I am planning blog posts, IGTV interviews and other updates around the three main topics people mentioned:
- What hotels/airlines are doing to keep us safe
- Destination Updates
- Tips to Make Your Trips More Flexible/How to Protect Your Trip Investment with Travel Insurance.
Many of these updates will be posted right here on the blog. A few interviews and other meaty topics will be shared on our IGTV and YouTube channels. Stay tuned for more details!
Have a great week and stay safe,
P.S. Did this survey light a fire under you? Is it time to start planning that new trip? Click below to get started!