9 things to know about students’ COVID-era travel plans

'The family vacation is the new fall break this year,' manager of travel site says

In the months after heavy media attention was paid to spring breakers spreading COVID, college students appear to have scaled back their travel plans, a recent survey has found.

More than half of the 515 students surveyed by CheapTickets, an online budget travel agency, said they had not taken a vacation or traveled for leisure since COVID shut campuses down in March.

Even among those who had traveled, the majority said they had only taken a short trip with their family.

Students also don’t have plans to go very far afield during the remainder of 2021, the survey found.

More from UB: Do college students want work-from-home careers?

“The family vacation is the new fall break this year,” Justine McDonald, senior manager of CheapTickets, said. “Many students told us they don’t have any leisure travel planned for the rest of the year, however, 30% reported they plan to use local activities as a getaway this fall.”

While a majority of remote learners said they were traveling only “a little” or “much” less since the COVID-19 outbreak, less than half of the students taking in-person classes reported similar travel impacts.

Many students living at home

The survey also found:

  • Nearly 3 in 4 respondents (73%) reported traveling much less since the start of the pandemic. The spread of COVID-19 in an origin or destination was the biggest consideration for students when determining whether to travel.
  • 37% of students are not planning any fall break trips.
  • 62% of respondents said they were taking classes online.
  • 55% are living at home with parents or family members.
  • Online learners were more likely to report feeling calm and happy about their at-home setup through they believe their family members are feeling sad overall. This gap was wider in the Northeastern U.S.

More from UB: Why college students are worried about the COVID-era election

UB’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on higher ed.

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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