Out of Home Buyer’s Guide for Summer 2020

summer vacation plans to go to the beach despite covid-19

Out of Home Buyer’s Guide for Summer 2020

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summer vacation plans to go to the beach despite covid-19


Vehicular traffic is increasing as COVID lockdowns are relaxed, and we expect that trend to continue; however there is insufficient data to project when public transportation may recover.

As we continue to keep an eye on the impact of COVID-19 on Out of Home (OOH), there have been projections of increases in traffic in summer 2020. In a recent survey commissioned by the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) and conducted by OnDevice Research, more than half of all consumers plan to get away on a summer vacation this year, and increasingly they’re getting there by car.

Please note that although traffic is projected to increase at this time, travel plans may change as experts warn against summer travel due to recent surges in COVID-19 cases.



Road trips will be back in a big way this summer and the car will dominate travel, a 72% increase from last year.

    • 53% are still planning to take a summer vacation despite COVID-19
    • 78% will be undertaking a journey by road to reach their summer vacation destination
    • 62% plan to use their personal car as their primary mode of vacation transportation
    • 25% plan to fly to their destination, with those ages 25-34 more likely to do so


The primary purpose of this year’s summer vacation is to visit friends and family. Relaxation and tradition are also top reasons for a vacation.

    • By age, we see interesting subtleties in motivations for summer travel:
      • 18-24: More likely to list sightseeing as their goal
      • 45+: Relaxation features more prominently
    • By U.S. region:
      • Northwest: Relaxation and family/friends hold near equal sway
      • Midwest: Sightseeing is cited more
      • South: Relaxation is the top motivator


Long-distance domestic journeys will occur frequently this summer, and planned travel distance is similar or greater than in 2019:

    • 54% of summer vacation journeys will be national in nature (trips totaling over 400 miles roundtrip)
    • 13% plan to travel over 1,000 miles this summer
    • 63% are traveling the same distance or longer this year
    • Those ages 18-34 plan to travel farther this year versus last year


The Southern U.S. is the favored destination for this year’s vacation trip.

    • 39% plan to travel to this region, with Florida as the top destination at 16%
    • California is the next most favored destination at 10%
    • There are regional variations; the majority of those in the South plan to vacation in the same region; cross-region journeys will be more frequent in the Midwest and Northeast



Geopath has confirmed that traffic has been increasing week-over-week since early April. They expect traffic to continue to grow and potentially surpass numbers last summer. In fact, Geopath is reporting that trend of year-over-year increased traffic in some markets as of mid-June.

average total miles traveled per day during covid-19 pandemic


While data continues to show an increase in overall vehicle traffic patterns week over week, historical mass transit surveys from March 2020 suggest that people will be less likely to take public transportation as things start to open back up. This will potentially add to the increased personal vehicle traffic patterns as well.


Harmelin will continue to monitor traffic patterns and the effects on mass transit. We will share updates as more concrete data surfaces.

The full OnDevice Research study can be viewed here.