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USA TODAY

Americans would love to go on vacation. They’re just not sure they should actually go. 

That’s the finding of two surveys that both found many travelers are expressing hesitation due to the coronavirus pandemic about taking a trip.

Some 67% of those responding to an AAA Travel survey released Thursday say they are uncertain about whether to take a vacation.

And online travel booking site Travelocity found 57% of Americans say they won’t travel for the year-end holidays this year.

The findings are in line with advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which offers a world map that indicates the coronavirus is a threat in just about every country, including the U.S.

The AAA survey points to a trend that has become a theme of fall travel since the pandemic started causing broad shutdowns in March – more trips by car often to outdoor destinations and planned days or a week, not months, ahead of time. 

About 80% of vacation trips will be by car, and places “known for outdoor recreation and socially distanced fun” will be particularly popular, AAA said. 

As if to prove the point, two new outdoor-oriented destinations show up on AAA’s list of most popular driving vacation destinations. Keystone, South Dakota, gateway to Mount Rushmore, now takes sixth place. Colorado, the Rocky Mountain State, adds Colorado Springs in 10th place. 

The Top 10 are:

  1. Denver
  2. Las Vegas
  3. Los Angeles
  4. San Diego
  5. Seattle
  6. Keystone
  7. Portland, Oregon
  8. Phoenix
  9. Colorado Springs
  10. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

“Trips that allow people to take advantage of the great outdoors are particularly appealing this fall,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, in a statement.

She cited state and national parks, beaches and gardens as the kind of COVID-19-safe attractions that are popular.

The Travelocity survey found 25% of respondents surveyed in mid-September had planned to take a vacation by the end of the year.

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Despite the general trend toward booking trips on short notice, Travelocity found about 60% of both those planning Thanksgiving or December holiday trips had planned to book by the end of September. Those planning travel said they have already made travel arrangements for Thanksgiving or December trips.

“It’s going to be a nontraditional holiday season this year, so families are gearing up to make the most of it by planning a holiday away from home and using their vacation days to travel,” says Katie Junod, Travelocity’s general manager, in a statement.

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