While COVID-19 continues it’s rapid spread across the U.S. and the world, headlines have recently started hitting much closer to home. As new advisories are issued each day, travel plans are becoming more uncertain. Quarantining and social distancing are now commonplace vocabulary as we aim to keep the pandemic as under control as possible and stop the spread of germs.
It’s likely social distancing is first and foremost in the minds of all the brides and grooms getting ready for the upcoming wedding season. This holds true for their bachelor and bachelorette parties and the travel that goes into them.
We were interested in learning how bridal parties are handling events in the face of a global pandemic, so we conducted a survey asking Americans how their bachelor and/or bachelorette party plans have been affected due to COVID-19. Additionally, we asked about their attitude and concerns around the virus.
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COVID-19’s Impact: Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties
First, we asked if people were making changes to their plans because of COVID-19. We asked several questions on respondents’ planned mode of transportation, where they plan to stay, and how likely they are to change their plans.
We found that half of Americans had already made changes (50.21%). Of that 50% of participants, nearly 1 out of 3 had cancelled their plans completely.
Just over 25% said they had changed their destination, 20% altered their length of stay, and 22% said they changed how they were getting there.
When we look at the responses from the 50% who said they had not changed their plans already, 60% of those going on a cruise indicated they would likely be changing their plans. Cruises had the highest likelihood of plans changing compared to the other modes of transportation included in our study.
Interestingly, the second highest likelihood of change (55%) came from those having a local party. While social distancing has become more of the norm recently, fears concerning travel have been top of mind for most people. The fact that so many people going to local parties are considering changing plans speaks to the rapid development of the coronavirus pandemic.
Coming in third was airline travel with 48% of participants indicating that their airline travel plans would likely be changing.
Lastly, among the 50% who said they had not changed their plans already, parties involving staying in a hotels or short-term rentals (i.e. Airbnb) had the highest likelihood of changing their plans at 41% and 45%, respectively.
Those who planned to go camping were the only group where the majority did not intend to change their plans.
Additionally, we asked people to rate how worried they were about contracting COVID-19. We asked respondents to rate themselves on a scale from 1 – 10, with 10 being the most worried and 1 being not worried at all.
We then averaged the ratings and analyzed by responses to other questions. Those who had already changed their plans were 1.6 times more worried about contracting COVID-19 than those who had not changed their plans.
We also analyzed the data by mode of transportation. Those traveling by cruise or train were the most worried at an average of a 7.7. Those staying local were the least worried at 5.6.
Lastly, we also analyzed the data by where people were staying. Those who were staying with family or friends are the most worried about contracting the virus at 7.0 and 6.8, respectively. Those who were staying in a short-term rental were the least worried at 5.7.
We surveyed 850 Americans who had plans to attend or host a bachelor or bachelorette party in the next 6 months. We estimate the confidence level at 95% and the margin of error at 3%.
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on travel throughout the world. As the U.S. continues to issue warnings and take additional preventative measures, travel for bachelor and bachelorette parties will continue to be disrupted. Our survey shows that many Americans have already changed their party travel plans and many are likely to do so in the coming days and weeks.
Taking Proper Preventative Care
The coronavirus’s first outbreak was in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has now been detected in over 100 countries worldwide. The virus spreads person-to-person and ranges from very mild symptoms to severe illness or death.
People over the age of 65 or with chronic medical conditions seem to be at higher risk.
Symptoms can include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- In some severe cases, difficulty breathing.
The CDC recommends knowing the signs and symptoms, limiting community movement, and frequent hand washing. For those at higher risk, it is recommended to stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds and traveling. Public cooperation is key to slowing the spread of the virus.
While we hope that COVID-19 passes quickly, it is already making a significant impact. For all the people with upcoming weddings, taking precautions and making some changes to bachelor and bachelorette parties may be the first step to keeping friends and family safe.