Illinois Tourism & Travel

Crazy About Travel

One-Third of Older Individuals Plan to Take an Extended Vacation Next Year

However, many say that they would reconsider if local COVID-19 cases begin to spike at their destination, poll results show.

Nearly 1 in 3 older individuals plan to go on a long vacation far from home in the next year, and many may travel for the holidays in the next 2 months, results of a poll show.

However, many say that they would reconsider if local COVID-19 cases begin to spike at their destination.

“Vaccinated older adults should still be mindful of COVID-19 activity at their destination, but most would face a much lower risk of developing a severe infection than their unvaccinated peers,” Preeti Malani, MD, an infectious disease physician at Michigan Medicine, said in a statement.

About 17{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} of respondents said that they had taken extended trips in the past year, but 31{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} said that they intend to take a trip in the upcoming year.

About 1 in 4 individuals said that they plan to travel over the upcoming holiday season, ranging from November 2021 until January 2022.

In cases of COVID-19 spikes, 20{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} of travelers said that they would definitely alter their plans, but 52{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} said that they might alter their plans.

Older individuals who are not vaccinated were less likely to consider COVID-19-driven changes to their travel plans.

The poll also focused on how individuals would handle health-related concerns that might arise while traveling.

Of those who had an extended trip in the past year, 10{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} said that they got medical care while traveling, while nearly all (97{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298}) of individuals planning a long trip said that they would make sure to bring enough of their prescription medications with them.

About 88{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} said that they would make sure to bring enough medical supplies.

About 34{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} of individuals said that they would see their primary-care physicians before they left. However, among those who took a long trip last year, 18{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} said that they saw their health care providers before they left.

Less than a third of individuals planning to travel said they would check with their insurance plans to see what they would cover if medical needs arose.

About 1 in 10 said that they would buy more insurance coverage or identify a place that they could get care at their destination.

About 25{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} of older individuals planning extended travel are relying on telehealth visits while on a trip, and just 19{32bc5e747b31d501df756e0d52c4fc33c2ecc33869222042bcd2be76582ed298} plan on staying in their home state.

The National Poll on Healthy Aging focused on data from individuals aged 50 to 80 years who have recently taken or plan to take trips of 2 or more weeks, 100 miles or more away from home.

The poll was based at the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.


Many older Americans plan to take long trips soon but may alter plans if COVID spikes at their destination. EurekAlert. News release. November 17, 2021. Accessed November 17, 2021.