How COVID-19 is affecting the holiday season: poll

Published on: Nov 19, 2020fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
As HQ figures out how to spend the upcoming holidays, we wanted to check in with Skimm’rs and ask about their plans for the season. theSkimm // Andrea Manzati

Editor’s note: This poll was conducted before the latest CDC guidelines were released advising Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving.

The holidays are finally upon us. And while we’re used to celebrating them with our yearly traditions, travel, and family, we’re also still facing a pandemic. Meaning: state-by-state travel restrictions and a slew of other 2020isms which have us asking 'is it 2021 yet?'

As HQ figures out how to spend the upcoming holidays, we wanted to check in with Skimm’rs and ask about their plans for the season. 

First off, is gift-giving still a thing?

We’d say so. Despite 83.1% of Skimm’rs saying their holiday traditions have been affected by COVID-19, a whopping 83.8% say they’re still planning to give gifts. But 12.4% may buck the tradition, saying they’re “on the fence” about it this year.

83.1% say their holiday traditions have been affected by COVID-19.
Seems like the holidays are (sort of) happening as usual.

When it comes to gifts, yes. And the method used to buy presents is pretty much the same too. Nearly half of those polled (46%) plan to shop solely online. No surprise there. And at least 27% are doing a mix of shopping in-person and online. But some Skimm'rs are going the DIY-route – nearly 12% are planning to shop online and make their own gifts. The other 3% still aren't sure how they're going to shop this year – something we may be able to help with.

83.8% still plan to give gifts this holiday season, while 12.4% are on the fence.
That’s good and all, but are people seeing their families this year?

Honestly, a lot aren't. And the CDC recently issued guidance advising Americans to avoid travel for Thanksgiving this year. Nearly half of Skimm’rs (48%) are not planning to travel. And 12.3% are still trying to decide if they should go or just stay home. For those that are traveling, this typically isn't their first trip since the pandemic started.

I just need to know if airports will be packed?

Magic 8 ball says: probably not. At least not with Skimm’rs. Many are planning a good old fashioned road trip this season. For Thanksgiving, 74.8% are traveling by car, and 46% are traveling more than 300 miles to get to their destination. And, for the December holidays, the trend pretty much stays the same. 68.6% are traveling by car with more than half (54%) traveling more than 300 miles away. Now, is probably a good time to ask your travel buddy what kind of podcasts they’re into.

I’m surprised so many people want to travel

Well, it depends on who you ask. 41.5% say they don’t feel any better traveling now than they did six months ago. While 21% say they do.

Millennial women say they don't really feel any better about traveling now than they did six months ago.
But will people take COVID-19 precautions?

So, this is where things get a little dicey. 37.1% of respondents say they do not plan on quarantining when they arrive at their holiday destination. Probably a good time to remember the basics: social distance, wear your masks, and check your destination's COVID-19 restrictions. But an equal 37.1% say they do plan to quarantine when they come back from their trip. Meanwhile, many are leaving their quarantine decision up to how they feel in the moment. 26.6% say they will only quarantine upon arrival to their destination if they feel sick. And another 34.5% agreed, saying they’ll only quarantine when they return home if they feel sick. 

Can you give me a silver lining, please?

Well, staycationers everywhere are rejoicing. And catching up on sleep. 54.4% of those staying at home are planning to take some “me” time. 48.5% are spending time with their families and friends via Zoom. And 54.1% plan to stream the movies and TV shows they’ve been putting off.

Well, that’s nice.

Yes. And hey, let’s just say it. This holiday season is different to say the least. Many Skimm’rs who aren’t traveling this year (31.9%) are holding off until there’s a vaccine. And 29.8% are really not sure when they’ll feel comfortable traveling again. And that’s totally OK too.

theSkimm holiday travel

No matter how you’re spending the holiday season this year, it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together. No matter how you choose to celebrate this year, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season.

Skimm'd by Kamini Ramdeen and Niven McCall-Mazza

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