1 in 3 Americans are planning a holiday trip


An airborne virus doesn’t mix well with the holidays. Already the CDC is asking Americans to not travel for Thanksgiving, and health professionals are worried holiday shopping is making the pandemic worse.

But how exactly will Americans change their holiday plans? To find out, Fortune and Civis Analytics teamed up to survey 10,063 U.S. adults.*

Holiday activities are scaled back, but far from cancelled. Among U.S. adults, 31% say they’ll travel this holiday season to visit family or friends (21%) or for vacation (10%). That’s down from 51% who traveled last year. 

The group most likely to hit the road: Americans with an advanced degree. These highly educated Americans are the most likely to travel during the holidays to visit friends or family (35%) and for vacation (15%).

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Why are these advanced-degree holders still hitting the road during the holidays? Some of it can be attributed to the fact that they have the money to travel. These mostly white-collar workers are the least likely to have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 recession. And many of these affluent workers have seen their net worths rise as stock prices set record highs.

It’s not just this year: Americans with advanced degrees usually travel the most during the holidays. Last year, 73% of advanced-degree holders traveled during the holidays, compared to 42% of Americans with a high school diploma.

*Methodology: The Fortune-Civis Analytics survey was conducted among a national sample of 10,063 adults in the U.S. between September 11 and November 9. The findings have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography.


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