US travelers still planning international trips, despite CDC requirement

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Following the CDC announcement requiring all US citizens receive a negative Covid-19 test prior to reentry, initial reports show US travelers are still showing a willingness to travel internationally, taking additional steps to prepare rather than canceling travel altogether.

Travel insurance aggregator, Squaremouth, compared data immediately following the CDC announcement on January 12th, 2020, with data from the two weeks prior, revealing the following takeaways:

Travelers are insuring about $1,000 more per trip
There has been a 42% spike in Cancel For Any Reason policy purchases
Travelers are spending 31% more on insurance
With a price tag 40% higher than a standard cancellation policy, the Cancel For Any Reason benefit allows travelers to cancel their trip for a reason not otherwise covered by their policy and receive a partial refund.

Squaremouth says the reason for the upgrade is clear: with constant changes to travel requirements, including negative Covid tests and quarantine restrictions, travelers want the ability to opt-out of their trip, no questions asked.

Minimal impact on destinations

More than 70% of bookings post-announcement are still for international destinations
“We expected to see an immediate shift to domestic travel and a drop in international bookings, due to the added complication of coordinating a Covid test abroad, but that hasn’t been the case,” says Squaremouth CMO, Megan Moncrief.

Travelers are booking farther out

US travelers are insuring their international trips 24% sooner than previously in the pandemic
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Squaremouth saw a trend of last-minute bookings overtake far-planned out trips, attributing this to a general uncertainty around travel, changing quarantine requirements, and a newfound remote work flexibility.