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Survey: Americans Want to Travel Again – But with a New Set of Rules

MAHWAH, NJ (Nov. 20, 2020) New data from Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll revealed that while Americans are eager to resume travelling following months at home, a new set of safety concerns will dictate when, where and how they do so.


Stemming from the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the U.S., Americans are again encouraged to limit non-essential travel and large gatherings. In the short term, it is critical to the safety of all that people abide by these regulations and stay updated on the latest guidelines enacted by local and state governments. Longer term, Americans yearning for exploration and connection points with loved ones are making safety a top priority.


“While Americans are understandably ready to get back to traveling, we must consider safety precautions at every level, including while on the road,” said Jim Nichols, Sr. Product and technology Communications Manager, Volvo Car USA. “If travel is absolutely necessary, we encourage people to prepare accordingly and above all, be safe.“


Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll further examined how the pandemic has altered Americans’ perceptions of safe travel, when and how they plan to travel over the next 18 months and the specific areas people are prioritizing to help stay safe while taking a trip. Key findings include:


Americans are Eager to Explore Again – But Want to do so Safely  

  • Americans are eager to explore again – and 75% of those surveyed indicated a desire to travel at some point in 2020 or 2021.
    • However, the average distance most anticipate traveling is only 200 miles, with nearly half (42%) saying they are only comfortable going 100 miles or less.
  • An overwhelming majority of people coordinating trips over the next 18 months intend to travel by car (70%), compared to 41% by plane due to safety concerns. Within this group, 75% note feeling very safe in their cars right now, while only 15% say the same about the airport.  
    • 46% also say they believe people will travel via plane less than before even after the pandemic is over – twice the number who say plane travel will increase (23%).


Safety Takes Center Stage in Travel Planning    

  • As people look for ways to stay safe while traveling, crowding and clear cleaning protocols have become more important considerations for choosing a destination compared to a year ago (57% and 55%, respectively).
    • Other top reported increasingly important travel criteria include: contactless check-in features (48%), travel companions (47%), proximity to home (44%), and how exotic the location is (28%).
  • Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say they feel safe traveling to a remote U.S. location, compared to 54% who prefer visiting another U.S. city.
    • While just over half (56%) shared they feel safe traveling domestically, only a quarter (26%) are comfortable going international.


For Volvo Cars, safety has always been a core value, as demonstrated by decades of vehicle technology innovations and “world-first” inventions, including the three-point safety belt in 1959 – credited with saving more than one million lives. More information on Volvo’s legacy in safety can be found here.



This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Volvo from September 30 to October 13, 2020, among 2,003 licensed adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.


About Volvo Car USA

Volvo Car USA, LLC, ( is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCUSA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States. For more information please refer to the VCUSA media website at:

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