Manager, Public & Government Affairs
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C: (405) 488-7611
Senior Specialist, Public & Government Affairs
O: (918) 748-1074
C: (918) 935-9318
May 25, 2021 - - AAA’s exclusive poll* of Oklahomans reveals that more than half (56%) of respondents are considering or actually planning to take a trip this summer. Some 41% say future plans will include those outside of their COVID “bubble”. AAA Travel is seeing a strong increase in bookings that reflects the renewed enthusiasm for a change of scenery.
“Whether it is a quick get-away or longer, more extravagant trips – so called ‘Revenge Travel’ –many Oklahomans have been eager for destinations to open back up,” said Leslie Gamble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Oklahoma. “Optimism coincides with completion of COVID-19 vaccinations and strong consumer confidence as Oklahomans take steps to put the pandemic behind us.”
Those waiting to make last-minute plans or staying home say their decisions are not related to COVID-19 concerns. Only 22% of Oklahomans surveyed say that is the biggest factor in summer travel plans.
Fluid Situations Abound
State restrictions are lessening, if not disappearing, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that fully vaccinated people can resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic - including domestic travel - at low risk to themselves, while taking proper precautions. Yet, AAA’s poll found that COVID-related complexities are influencing some Oklahomans’ summer travel plans:
- 31% say they still have COVID-related travel concerns
- 26% say that uncertainty about activities and attractions at their destinations is a consideration as part of the planning process
“American views about traveling are complex as we emerge from the COVID pandemic,” Gamble said. “Especially for those venturing out for the first time in over a year, re-entry brings uncertainties.”
AAA Travel advisors are an excellent resource for more than travel planning, including testing and quarantine and vaccine requirements, what destinations and attractions are open both domestically and internationally, and what to do if last-minute changes are needed. Of those surveyed, 52% weren’t aware that travel advisors offered this assistance.
“Being informed and planning in advance can make the difference between a great vacation and a travel nightmare,” said Sheila Nielsen, AAA Oklahoma Travel Advisor. “AAA is encouraging travelers to check and re-check requirements at all stop-off points and destinations as they can change up to the last minute.”
Travelers can access local Travel Advisors through AAA.com/Travel. AAA’s free COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and TripTik offer the latest information to help plan trips.
Great American Road Trips Reign
The Great American Road trip continues to be the trip of choice for the majority of those surveyed in the Sooner State for the Memorial Day holiday and summer trips. Close to half, or 47%, plan to travel by car. Only 14% plan to fly, a clear indication that road trips reign supreme.
Roadside breakdowns can ruin long awaited road trips. In the summer of 2019, AAA Oklahoma received 63,177 calls for help for dead batteries, flat tires, lock outs and other vehicle issues. AAA memberships provide safety and peace of mind for those hitting the road for Memorial Day and throughout the summer. Now through the end of May, a Classic Primary Membership is 50% off with one free Classic Associate Membership for those who use the promo code PGAPR50 when they join by phone, online or at any AAA retail location.
As Americans begin their Great American Road Trips this summer, AAA is here and ready to help. We’ve compiled our favorite trip-planning resources, backed by more than 100 years of road-tested experience and expertise. AAA.com/RoadTrip is a free resource to help travelers find inspiration, explore destinations, plan the perfect route and get their vehicle road trip ready.
*The AAA survey of 605 residents in Oklahoma was conducted April 22-23, 2021 by Public Policy Polling. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4%.