Labor Day marks the unofficial end of the summer. Each year, millions of Americans hit the roads or the airports for one final vacation before fall. But with the coronavirus (COVD-19) pandemic continuing throughout the U.S., many people may think twice before traveling.
With that in mind, we conducted a survey to find out how many Americans are planning to travel for the Labor Day weekend in 2020. We asked over 4,300 people across the U.S. about their travel plans.
We’ve analyzed the results on a national level, by state, and by political party. Read on to see our full results.
Main Survey Findings
The initial question was simple enough: Are you planning on traveling for Labor Day this year?
First, we looked at the data on a national level. What we found is 62% of Americans said yes, they are planning on traveling.
While we did not ask respondents specifically what their travel plans were, traveling did include at least one of the following: an overnight stay, a car/bus trip of at least an hour, or a plane flight.
By U.S. State
Next, we looked at the findings on a state level. Taking the respondents who indicated they would be traveling, but aggregated the positive response to the respondent’s state.
The results show that in 35 out of 50 states, the majority of the residents will travel. On the other hand, 15 states had a majority of respondents who said they will not.
Here are the 10 states most likely to travel along with their respective percentages of respondents who indicated they would be traveling:
- Alaska (85%)
- Wyoming (80%)
- Nevada (77%)
- Connecticut (77%)
- Vermont (75%)
- New Mexico (73%)
- Alabama (72%)
- Montana (72%)
- Utah (71%)
- Delaware (71%)
And these are the 10 states least likely to travel along with their respective percentages:
- Rhode Island (20%)
- West Virginia (32%)
- New Hampshire (37%)
- Hawaii (37%)
- Massachusetts (38%)
- Minnesota (40%)
- Oregon (42%)
- Oklahoma (46%)
- Ohio (46%)
- Idaho (47%)
Data by Political Party
We also asked respondents about their political affiliation. What we found was that while the majority of respondents of all political parties plan to travel, Republicans are 18% more likely than Democrats to travel.
When we analyzed the data for political parties at a state level, we looked at the percentage of those who responded that they would be traveling. Note that there were a few states without a statistically significant amount of responses for one of the parties, reflected by a gray color.
The results are mixed and don’t follow a clear pattern by geography or areas hardest hit by the virus. However, one interesting trend is for states with large populations. In California, New York, Texas, and Florida, the majority of respondents for both political parties are planning to travel. Despite these states having some of the highest counts and percentage of cases over the last few months, residents seemingly are ready to spend Labor Day somewhere besides home.
Primary Reason for Not Traveling
Finally, we asked if respondents were not traveling for a reason related to COVID-19. For those that said they were not traveling because of the coronavirus, the highest response reason reported (32%) was for fear of contracting COVID-19 from others. The second highest response (24%) was from fear of contracting it from aspects of travel, such as a hotel room, a rest stop, a plane, etc.
We had a number of respondents use the write in option to tell us it was from lack of funds related to loss of work (0.5%).
The U.S. continues to wrestle with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, as the last holiday of the summer season approaches, people are getting ready to travel. Traditionally, Labor Day is a big travel holiday, marking the unofficial end of summer and beginning of fall. Despite COVID-19, it seems millions of Americans are still planning on traveling.
For those planning to travel this holiday, we strongly encourage you to follow all official health and safety guidelines set by the CDC, state governments, and other health officials. This includes wearing a mask, washing your hands or using hand sanitizer frequently, social distancing, and avoiding contact with anyone who is sick.
We surveyed 4,390 Americans in August 2020. The respondents were a mix of ages and genders. Political party affiliation was 33% Republican, 37% Democrat, 21% Independent, 5% None, and 4% Other. We estimate the margin of error is less than 3% with a confidence level of 90%.
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