DALLASMarch 30, 2021 – The average American spent 176 hours scrolling social media for travel inspiration throughout the past year, according to new research from Motel 6. On the heels of the one-year anniversary of the health crisis, the economy lodging brand released a survey revealing that three in five (60%) Americans experienced a stronger desire to travel in the past 12 months than in a normal year and hope to turn that into a reality in 2021.

The survey, which polled 2,000 U.S. adults, found that one in four (24%) respondents have been scrolling for travel inspiration this past year as an outlet for their pent-up desire to travel. Of those who have been scrolling through social media, three-fourths (76%) said it has made them want to travel more, and almost two-thirds (63%) said it has helped them remain happy over the course of the last unprecedented year.

“We are starting to see a great deal of enthusiasm for returning to travel, and as the survey results demonstrate, travelers have been dreaming about and planning for that day for some time, no doubt a welcome distraction throughout the health crisis,” said Rob Palleschi, CEO of G6 Hospitality. “When travelers are ready to hit the road again, we’re here to help them do so safely. We want our guests to know that we will continue to ‘leave the light on’ for those in need of a clean, comfortable and affordable place to stay as they prepare for travel during these unprecedented times.”

What travelers need to feel safe

Three-quarters (76%) of Americans weren’t able to travel as much as they had hoped during 2020 and it’s been almost seven months since the average respondent last traveled for fun. On top of that, and 55% of respondents said they’re waiting to travel until after they have personally received the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, 7 in 10 (69%) have travel plans for 2021 and the respondents who feel safe traveling in 2021 are most likely to travel by car (54%), leading to more than half (56%) of Americans saying they’re more likely to take a road trip in 2021 than in previous years.

Three in five (58%) respondents stated that they’re worried about staying with family or friends due to the ongoing health crisis, therefore half (49%) of respondents are more likely to stay at a hotel if traveling this year. Requirements to wear masks in public areas (45%), knowing about enhanced cleaning services (38%) and capacity limitations (37%) are the top things that would make respondents feel safer when staying at a hotel or motel this year.

“In the early days of the crisis, we launched Clean@6, an initiative aimed at enhancing cleaning and sanitation, physical, and social distancing and safe behavioral practices for everyone,” said Palleschi. “Travel looks different now, so we continue to evolve and are doing everything we can to help travelers feel safe and confident the next time they walk through our doors.”

Motel 6 will leave the light on for those traveling safely this year, with reservations available at motel6.com. Motel 6 remains committed to following the guidelines of the CDC and to doing its part in maintaining safe and clean hotels for its valued guests. Learn more about the brand’s Clean@6 program here.

About the Motel 6 Travel Survey

The travel survey was commissioned by Motel 6 through SWNS Media Group, who conducted an online survey among n = 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18+ (nationally representative sample). The survey was conducted on Feb. 25–March 4, 2021 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage at a 95 percent confidence level.