The return of summer travel

New survey from World Nomads shows travel picking up as U.S. residents embrace summer travel.


Girl with suitcase walking down an airport corridor Photo © Virojt Changyencham/Getty

Media Release: May 5, 2021 – Oakland, California. With Covid-19 putting a stop to most big travel plans this past year, U.S. travelers are showing signs of optimism, with 66% planning a trip this summer, according to a new survey* from leading travel insurer World Nomads.

“After a year of border restrictions and quarantines, travelers are ready to get out and explore new regions and experience local cultures once again,” says World Nomads CEO, Anna Gladman. “The CDC’s announcement that vaccinated travelers can safely and freely travel within the United States has only added to the enthusiasm.”

World Nomads records show that policy sales more than quadrupled last month compared to the same period last year, with more than half of travelers taking short trips of between one to two weeks long.

“In addition, many travelers have jumped on flexible booking policies and travel deals, booking trips months in advance, which is a great sign of consumer confidence,” says Gladman.

The survey showed that most travelers are planning domestic trips with 29% staying in their own backyard and 66% going out of state. However, international destinations have also made travelers’ itineraries, with Europe and the United Kingdom the most popular places to book abroad.

Beaches, national parks, wildlife reserves, and relaxation top the list of activities, indicating that travelers are using their time off to take it easy and are prioritizing safety by choosing outdoor recreation.

“While Americans are eager to get out and travel, many are being cautious on venturing too far outside of their comfort zone,” says Gladman.

Fear of catching Covid-19 was the number one reason cited by survey respondents opting not to travel this summer while getting vaccinated and a decline in case counts would put them more at ease.

“With safety still top of mind, the majority of travelers are looking at buying travel insurance, with trip cancellation and emergency medical coverage considered the most important elements,” says Gladman.

“As vaccines are rolled out and travel restrictions begin to ease, Americans are excited about a return to summer travel. With a travel insurance plan, they can feel safe and supported at every stage of their journey,” she added.

For more information on World Nomads travel insurance plans, visit

Key statistics from the World Nomads summer travel survey

  • 66% of respondents plan on traveling this summer.

  • Of those not traveling, 40% said it was because of fear of catching COVID-19; 14% are waiting until they are vaccinated.

  • 30% of travelers started booking summer travels in March; only 7% said that they would wait to book at the last minute.

  • 66% said they were traveling domestically out-of-state and 29% are staying within their home state.

  • Only a small number of participants opted for far-flung destinations such as Asia (7%) and Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific (2.5%). Europe and the UK (16%) were the top international destinations.

  • 49% of travelers are booking trips 1 to 2 weeks long; 17% said they were taking trips of less than a week.

  • Beaches (48%), national parks and wildlife reserves (41%) and relaxation (31%) were the most popular activities.

  • 32% of summer travelers said that they were most looking forward to the freedom to explore; 19% said they wanted a chance to escape from it all; 18% wanted a return to normalcy.

  • 41% said that getting vaccinated would make them most comfortable about traveling, followed by a decline in case counts (24%).

  • 78% of respondents are considering buying travel insurance for their summer vacation.

  • 43% said that trip cancellation was the most important component of travel insurance, followed by emergency medical and dental coverage (31%).

*Survey of 306 travelers conducted by World Nomads in March 2021.

Media contact:

Lisa Cheng

Communications Manager
Phone: (510) 806-9466

About World Nomads

World Nomads is a fast-growing online travel company that provides inspiration, advice, safety tips and specialized travel insurance for independent, volunteer and student travelers traveling and studying most anywhere in the world. Our online global travel insurance covers travelers from more than 135 countries and allows you to buy and claim online, 24/7, even while already traveling.