A new AAA travel survey conducted in January reveals that 59% of Tennessians are uncomfortable traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The main concerns are the fear of getting sick (63%); the number of cases of COVID-19 (60%) and new strains of the virus (50%) The travel industry has been hit hard by this pandemic. Almost three in five Tennesséens (59%) have canceled or rescheduled travel plans in 2020. Currently, more than half (52%) of Tennesséens are comfortable staying in a hotel, while only 29% are feel comfortable taking a commercial flight. The majority (88%) feel more comfortable traveling in their personal vehicle. With better knowledge of the virus and its spread, it appears that some travelers’ confidence is increasing. Nearly one in five inhabitants (19%) of Tennessiens say they are more comfortable traveling now than at the start of the pandemic. Their growing confidence was attributed to the implementation of mask use and cleaning policies (42%); more knowledge about how the virus is spread (37%); midlife fatigue / wanting to leave the house (27%); and more confidence in the medical treatment and results (25%) This year, almost half of Tennesséens (49%) plan to take at least a leave of absence of three days or more. One-third (33%) of respondents plan to make multiple trips. However, more than one in three residents say they feel more comfortable traveling after receiving the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (35%) and when cases start to decline (38%). “The COVID-19 vaccine is really the key to restoring the confidence of Americans by traveling again,” said Megan Cooper, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “As health experts plan generalized immunizations by the summer, AAA travel counselors are seeing growing interest in second-half bookings.” An additional survey points out that 80% will wear a mask in public when traveling; 35% are more likely to visit a destination with a mask warrant; 46% drive less due to the pandemic (42% – no change in driving habits); 33% are more likely to purchase travel insurance than before the pandemic; 74% will not travel in the first trimester (46% cite the pandemic as a reason why); “For more than 100 years, AAA has helped travelers travel safely and enjoyably,” Cooper said. “That’s why AAA encourages the use of a trusted travel agent. They are the experts who help you consider options and make informed decisions that match your comfort level. The AAA Consumer Pulse survey was conducted online among residents of Tennessee from January 15-24. A total of 400 residents responded to the survey. The survey results requested from all respondents have a maximum margin of error of ± 4.9%. Responses are weighted by age and sex to ensure a reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18 years and older) in Tennessee. .