Remember what life was like before the global pandemic?
We could once walk into the grocery store, hit up the local bar or even plan a weekend getaway without fearing for our lives. Thanks to COVID-19, however, simple activities like this are now distant memories — and who knows if they’ll ever be more than memories again?
We wanted to know what Americans miss most about life since COVID-19 became prevalent in the United States. What we found paints a surprising picture of what we took for granted the most before the pandemic and what we now wish we could have more than anything else.
We polled over 1,500 Americans to see what COVID-19 has made them miss the most about life. Here’s what they said.
Sorry, mom and dad. When we asked respondents what they miss the most about life since COVID-19 started, nearly a quarter said they miss travel more than anything else. In fact, travel beat out visiting family, hanging out with friends and going to restaurants and bars.
In 2019, nearly 38 million Americans traveled internationally. With so many vacationers, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of people who miss having the opportunity to travel.
COVID-19 has certainly put a wrench into the wanderlust lifestyle. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the percentage of people staying at home has increased dramatically since the pandemic began –– it jumped from 19.5 percent to 28.1 percent at its peak in April. Since then, it’s leveled off at an average of 24.1 percent of people staying home per month, lining up perfectly with the results of our survey.
With more people opting to avoid travel than ever before, it’s not surprising to see that Americans miss travel. But to miss traveling more than you miss your family? Now that is surprising.
Breaking the results down by demographics, it’s clear that some groups miss travel more than others. We found that millennials (adults aged 25 to 34) are the most likely to say they miss traveling more than visiting family, hanging out with friends or going to restaurants and bars. This makes sense when considering that before COVID-19, millennials took more vacation days than any other generation per year.
With so many Americans wanting a vacation during COVID-19, there’s one big question left. Who is acting on the desire to travel?
To answer this question, we looked at the latest available data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
States with the smallest percentage of residents staying home:
It’s interesting to note that all four of these states are in the top 20 states with the fewest COVID-19 restrictions in the country. Perhaps that’s why residents aren’t staying home.
States with the highest percentage of residents staying home:
If you’re one of the many Americans who have the travel bug right now, there are plenty of ways to satisfy your wanderlust cravings while staying safe. Consider taking a weekend camping trip with your family, create a travel-themed bucket list or plan your dream post-COVID-19 getaway! For other stay-at-home ideas, check out this list of things to do while social distancing!
This study was conducted for Apartment Guide using Google Consumer Surveys. The sample consisted of no less than 1,500 completed responses per question. Post-stratification weighting has been applied to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. This survey was conducted in August 2020.