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

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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.