Florida vacation travel could also be stymied by coronavirus, election fears

Somehow the holiday season is only a few weeks away. And while it’s usually one of the busiest travel periods of the year, many Floridians may choose to stay closer to home because of concerns about the pandemic and the political landscape.

According to the AAA, the Auto Club Group’s annual vacation travel forecast, around a quarter of the Floridians surveyed said they were traveling on vacation – half as many as last year. The vast majority (84 percent) named the coronavirus as a travel problem.

“While many will prefer to stay home this holiday season, there is a segment of Floridians who are more willing to travel than they were earlier this year,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman.

For those expecting a trip, around 70 percent said they would be most comfortable in their own vehicle. Only 44 percent of Floridians willing to travel stated that they would feel comfortable taking an airliner to their destination.

Housing is another area Floridians should avoid. Less than 50 percent of travelers said they would be comfortable in a hotel or resort, but many said they would prefer a hotel or resort to AirBnB rentals if given the choice.

Most traveling Floridians (45 percent) have already booked vacation travel reservations, and another 21 percent expect to finalize plans this month.

The early bookings are due in part to the flexibility of working from home. Half of the Floridians surveyed said that for this reason they are likely to travel in the fall.

“Travelers shouldn’t wait until the last minute to book their vacation,” Jenkins said. “The majority of vacationers will have their plans ready by the end of October. That means fewer options and possibly higher prices for people looking for a last minute flight. “

This year, however, there are other reasons why potential travelers might cancel or delay plans out of town. The AAA survey found that 21 percent of respondents paused their travel plans because of the elections, citing security concerns (50 percent), political unrest (28 percent) and economic impact (27 percent) as driving factors.

Should Floridians choose to travel this year, “AAA encourages all travelers to follow the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) safety instructions and work with a trusted travel advisor,” said Jenkins.

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