Getting a COVID-19 vaccination and open borders are the most important conditions travelers need

Lebanon, NH – February 3, 2021 – Traveler safety concerns plunge considerably after spring 2021, according to a Global Rescue survey of the most experienced travelers in the world.

The survey found three out of four respondents (77%) are less or much less concerned about travel safety for the last half of 2021 (July to December) compared to 2020. But traveler concerns remain high for the first half of the year with more than half of the respondents (54%) saying they are more – or much more – concerned about travel safety between now and June compared to 2020.

“Traveler confidence is growing stronger, and that’s good news for the travel industry,” said Global Rescue CEO Dan Richards, referring to the international survey of more than 2,100 of Global Rescue’s current and former members.

Seventy percent of travelers responding to the survey expect to go on their next overnight/multi-day domestic trip greater than 100 miles from home by June 2021. One out of four are holding off until the last half of the year while 5% will wait until 2022 or later.

Nearly 6 out of 10 respondents (57%) expect to travel internationally sometime between spring and winter 2021, while nearly a third (29%) do not expect to go on an international trip until 2022 or after. Ten percent expect to travel abroad before the end of March this year.

According to the survey results, getting a COVID-19 vaccination (47%) and open borders (34%) are the two most important conditions travelers need in place to feel safe enough to travel internationally. Less than 4% of respondents said obtaining negative PCR COVID-19 test results, having access to coronavirus treatments, or acquiring a digital health passport were conditions needed in place to feel safe enough to travel abroad.

Survey respondents revealed potential quarantines (41%) and COVID-19 infection (29%) are, by far, the biggest concerns for travelers planning an international trip. Twelve percent of survey-takers listed trip cancellation as the third major concern. Last year, respondents cited “crime” as the leading travel safety concern but the pandemic pushed that fear to the bottom of the list along with getting sick (from something other than COVID-19), accidents, civil unrest/terrorism, lost luggage, robbery, nuclear disaster and cybercrime, each netting 7% of responses or less.

“Travelers will feel safe enough to plan trips and vacations when they are vaccinated, when borders are open and managed in a predictable way, and when they know they’ll be able to get home if the worst happens,” Richards said.

By 2-to-1 margins, negative COVID-19 tests do not make travelers feel safer compared to getting a coronavirus vaccine. Seventy three percent of respondents would feel safer during a trip if they had a COVID-19 vaccine compared to only 36% who would feel safer if they had a negative PCR COVID-19 test result before reaching their destination.

“Traveler trust in the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccination understandably surpasses that of a negative coronavirus test since the former prevents against an occurrence and the latter only detects if an individual has been infected by the virus,” Richards said.

Government and health officials from several countries, including the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, have implemented requirements for residents and non-residents to have a negative viral tests before entering their countries. Travelers are closely split over how they would find a testing facility to meet a similar requirement with 21% relying on tour operators, travel agents (21%), destination resources (18%), personal investigation (16%), or their insurance provider (9%). Fifteen percent of respondents admitted they don’t know what they would do.


About the Global Rescue Traveler Survey 

Global Rescue, a leading travel risk and crisis response provider, conducted a survey of more than 2,000 of its current and former members between Jan. 26-31, 2021. The respondents revealed a range of support for travel expectations, behaviors and safety concern in anticipation of a return to leisure and business trips domestically and internationally. 

Contact Bill McIntyre at or 202.560.1195 (phone/text) for more information.


About Global Rescue

Global Rescue is the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services to enterprises, governments and individuals. Founded in 2004, Global Rescue has exclusive relationships with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations and Elite Medical Group. Global Rescue provides best-in-class services that identify, monitor and respond to client medical and security crises. Global Rescue has provided medical and security support to its clients, including Fortune 500 companies, governments and academic institutions, during every globally significant crisis of the last decade. For more information, visit