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

Mar 12, 2021

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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.

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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

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