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AAA study finds more Coloradans are willing to travel during pandemic

AAA said 47 percent of Coloradans are now willing to travel -- up nearly 10 percent from January.

DENVER — A new survey by AAA finds more Coloradans are willing to travel as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxes guidelines and the COVID-19 vaccines become widely available.

AAA said 47% of Coloradans are now willing to travel -- up nearly 10% from January. 

The survey finds 25% of Coloradans say they're more comfortable traveling because they've received their COVID-19 vaccination, and 42% of those surveyed say it's because they've become more confident in safety measures including mask-wearing and sanitization protocols.  

"We knew from the beginning that the vaccine was the key to restoring travel confidence," said Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs for AAA. "What we didn't know was just how quickly demand would return. We're seeing the largest month-over-month bumps in travel inquiries since last March. The bottom line is that if you're thinking about travel, remember: so is everybody else."

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The survey also finds that 60% of Coloradans plan to travel in 2021, with 46% of travelers planning to take their next three-day trip before July.

Still, the pandemic continues to take a toll on travel. 70% of those surveyed said they would travel more if there were not a pandemic. 44% said they will be more comfortable traveling once they are vaccinated.

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AAA said because of the uncertain travel environment, more Coloradans are buying travel insurance. Nearly 40% say they are more likely to purchase travel insurance now than before the pandemic began. That marks a five percentage point increase from January, according to AAA.

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The popularity of traveling by plane seems to have improved recently, with 41% of Coloradans saying they are comfortable taking a commercial flight. That's up nearly 10 percentage points from January, AAA said.

In addition, 56 percent of those surveyed by AAA said they are comfortable staying at a hotel or resort. That is also up almost 10 percentage points from January.

According to the survey, these are the most popular types of destinations among Colorado travelers:

• National/state parks (32%)

• Beach destinations (23%)

• City/major metro Destination (23%)

AAA recommends that Coloradans work with a travel agent or adviser when planning a vacation, as they have access to travel opportunities, deals, and resources one couldn't otherwise find.  

The AAA Consumer Pulse Survey was conducted online among residents living in Colorado from March 12 to 18. 400 residents completed the survey.  

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