Americans are desperate to travel as vaccines roll out, fueling speculation that a travel boom is imminent

Mar 12, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

After more than a year of lockdowns, quarantines, and staying still as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world, travelers are ready to take to the skies again.

Google searches for “fully vaccinated travel” increased more than 750% on March 8, according to the internet giant, with searches for “CDC guidelines for travel” increasing about 650%.

The search data come as more than 33 million Americans have been fully vaccinated — meaning they’ve received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the new Johnson & Johnson shot — according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Another 31 million are partially vaccinated, according to the CDC, meaning they’ve received one of two required doses.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

Notably, according to Google, there are a few top destinations that eager travelers are hoping to visit first — and those spots are largely grouped by home region.

The most searched-for flights for residents of most East Coast and Midwest states was Florida, according to Google. Much of the central U.S. and the entire West Coast searched for flights to Las Vegas, as did Hawaii residents, while the Mountain states — and residents of Nevada, Arizona, and Oklahoma — were largely searching for flights to Hawaii. Alaskans looked most for flights to Anchorage, while residents of the Sunshine State searched for flights to New York.

Airline executives and analysts largely expect domestic travel demand to return before international, with an accelerated vaccine rollout expected to lead to a boom in domestic travel this Spring into Summer. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden reiterated his statement from last week saying there will be enough doses of the various vaccines for all Americans to be immunized by the end of May.

More:Americans can now visit 90+ countries and territories — here’s the complete list

Earlier this week, the CDC issued its first guidance for vaccinated Americans, urging them to continue to be cautious. Fully vaccinated people can now gather indoors maskless with other fully vaccinated people, or with unvaccinated people from one other household. The CDC still advises people not to travel, and to take protective measures before any necessary travel.

Nevertheless, guidelines and restrictions are expected to loosen as more Americans become vaccinated, offering a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel — and making now a tempting time to start looking for flights.

Featured image courtesy of ArtistGNDphotography/Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.