What keeps you from traveling?

January 28, 2020, 3:59 PM · What obstacle is most likely to keep you from planning or taking a trip somewhere?

A lot of would-be travelers are reconsidering — if not rearranging or canceling — their travel plans due to the recent outbreak of coronavirus. Over the past several months, many theme park fans have bailed to trips to Hong Kong Disneyland or Ocean Park due to concerns about the ongoing protests in the district. A hurricane forecast can blow away plans for a Florida vacation in the late summer or autumn. The hassle of getting time off work keeps many Americans from traveling as much as they would like. And there's always money to consider. As much as you can try to budget your travel, for some of us there's sometimes just not enough left in the bank to go anywhere.

To that point, sometimes it's personal concerns that keep us at home. Maybe it's not the fear of picking up an illness on a trip so much as the health issues we are dealing with already. Maybe the problem with weather isn't at your desired destination, but the weather at home that makes getting away a hassle. The car needs repairs. The kids can't get away from school. You don't have a passport, a necessary visa, or a Real ID.

This ins't about excuses. It's about the real challenges and obstacles that can make travel difficult, if not impossible, for many of us. But I am sure that many Theme Park Insider readers have found ways to overcome challenges and obstacles in their lives. Maybe we don't get to make that trip to Tokyo Disney. But we find a way to get to a closer, more convenient park.

What I would like to hear about today is what you see as the biggest challenge right now dissuading you from planning or taking a vacation. Is it concerns about health or safety? Is it weather? The logistics of getting time off or being able to make a trip? Is it money?

Or is nothing stopping you right now... and you are ready to go?

In the comments, please share with us some of your travel planning concerns, or advice.

Replies (27)

January 28, 2020 at 4:36 PM

The only real thing that stops us from travelling is getting time off from work! I wish I could travel a lot more but unfortunately my work is too busy and time off doesn't come easily. So I voted for logistics since it fit the most for me.

January 28, 2020 at 4:55 PM

I have to second Francis. It is getting time off from work that coincides with time off my wife can get that coincides with the school schedule.

While I am not concerned about saftey or health (within reason) my wife is very concerned. She doesnt want to visit Mexico or the DR. Places I would like to visit.

January 28, 2020 at 5:11 PM

Nothing is stopping me from travelling.
I have over £10,000 invested in a trip to Florida this October so my entire year is going to be taken up with military-grade planning!

January 28, 2020 at 6:46 PM

There seems to be a bad case of the Trump going around in the US, that is a big concern.

January 28, 2020 at 6:50 PM

Robert, tangential question here. I'm heading to the Universal Orlando/Disney World resorts at the end of the week. Do you know if anything is being done at the resorts to prevent the spread of coronavirus from its visitors traveling from China, or from anywhere for that matter?

January 28, 2020 at 7:34 PM

Logistics. With nearly half of my department at work retiring this year, even my already-approved vacation time is likely to get rescinded if they can't hire and train replacements in time.

January 29, 2020 at 7:07 AM

I fear travel. Flying makes me so anxious that it zaps the fun out of going in the first place. Just knowing I have to get back on a plane to get home occupies my thoughts the entire time. Most places I really enjoy are too far for ground travel so sadly, safety concerns are what stop me.

January 29, 2020 at 7:07 AM

Don’t worry OT, you're safe from Trump at most vacation spots. If some inconsiderate jerk tries to hold a Trump banner for two seconds, a non security employee will stop whatever job he’s supposed to be doing, take it and and angrily destroy it it for all to see than brag about it on social media.

January 29, 2020 at 7:29 AM

Money. I live in a medium market meaning my airport has few direct flights (it does to Orlando). However, around spring break and anytime the kids are out of school, the prices are jacked up at least double. To offset this, we either drive (15 hours to Orlando) or drive to another airport 2-5 hours away which saves $800-$1500 depending on the destination. Driving has its disadvantages now with the per day fees, traffic, and time. The do make it extremely convenient, but with the crowds and EMHs at WDW, you seem to be rushing around instead of taking it easy. This is why I often recommend DL. Sometimes you can get really cheap flights to SoCal. My family has gotten to the point that Disney is too much of a hassle, and other parks and other types of vacations are now preferable.

January 29, 2020 at 7:56 AM

Biggest thing that stops me travelling for vacations is my carbon foot print and the impact upon the environment. Just can't justify flying to the US for pleasure.

January 29, 2020 at 8:40 AM

For us it is the cost. We are retired now and the cash flow is 1/2 of what we used to have. Also for Orlando specifically, the costs of doing things have increased over the years, from car rental to food to accommodations. We love the theme parks but we are now exploring last minute deals to other parts of the world.

January 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM

I’m with Francis 24 and joestein on logistics due to getting time off work.

I would love to go to Ferrari World and Warner Bros. in the Middle East, and although this may be too much of a blanket stereotype for the region, as a gay man, I would fear for my safety.

January 29, 2020 at 10:56 AM

Well maybe "Pollution" could have been added to the list…? I try my best to restrict air travel as it's sooo polluting.

January 29, 2020 at 11:06 AM

According to Mrs Plum it is sitting 9 hours on a plane next to me snoring and dribbling.

January 29, 2020 at 12:11 PM

Money and time for me. When my sister had her first kid in Arizona, I wanted to get out more but could only spare a couple of weekends because of work schedule. Technically, I have enough for a weekend at WDW but it would still be costly and hard to get many days off enough to enjoy it. Maybe one day but as it stands, just not able to pull it off just yet.

January 29, 2020 at 12:56 PM

A poll.... Thoughs :

For (believe me) 95% of all people on earth, it's (in order)
1/ Money
2/ Passport/VISA problematics
3/ lack of stability in cost prediction (Read : the nowadays lunatic ongoing hype in variable pricing. When price can change "instantly" by day and hour (Yield marketing doctrine), the customer is stressed and could go break down completely.
All other reasons are strictly minority issues.

Individual answers on here, will tell nothing about worldwide reality. Unless you would receive 20,000 + answers, which you can process scientifically statistical... :-)
Robert , YES, differences will exist, country by country ! > ... please never launch a poll without defining clearly for what country it does apply .. (USA, as far as I can see here in this poll)

Special note for Sarah Warner : Can you SWIM well ? (Crossing oceans could be nice, then :-) )

January 29, 2020 at 3:00 PM

Money and time are my biggest shortages this year. Between the home renovations, unexpectedly breaking appliances, and furniture replacements, I'm tapped out. Not much money left over for theme park vacations. And work is chewing up every spare minute of my time when I'm not working on the house.

January 29, 2020 at 3:38 PM

Um, Herwig, this is a social poll of people who are definitely a subset (theme park enthusiasts) of the general population. Country of residence has nothing to do with the results since they aren't going to be extrapolated to make assumptions about the general population of any country let alone the world.
Heck, this poll isn't even accurate for the readers of TPI since only the people interested in the poll responded to it.

January 29, 2020 at 3:44 PM

For travel in general, nothing is really keeping me from doing so. I've gotten on a system of doing a quarterly trip somewhere (either for theme parks or something else), and that has been working pretty well for me. I personally find that doing three or four big trips each year (anything more than a weekend) is about the limit for how much I'd want to travel, so I don't feel the need to extend that.

If we're talking about dream trips, money is the limiting factor. I'd love to travel all over Europe and visit Japan, but don't make enough at my current job to be able to afford such things. That said, now that I've visited everywhere in the US that I consider a priority, I'm going to be scaling back my traveling after this year to hopefully make a European trip happen in the next few.

January 30, 2020 at 2:55 AM

We're postponing our next Disneyland trip until they figure out the ROTR boarding system. We're not going to spend thousands of dollars to fly and stay there if we have to compete in an early morning lottery hoping that maybe we'll get on the ride. (I wish Disneyland was more tourist-friendly. Why don't they offer boarding passes for DLR hotel guests?)

January 30, 2020 at 6:16 AM

The irony of the Emirates photo considering I'm off to Phuket with that airline in a little more than two weeks. (Best international airline by far) Nothing keeps me from traveling. I try to do at least three international trips a year. The time off, which seems to rank highest according to everyone's response, isn't that much of an issue as to how and when to strategically use my time off.

January 30, 2020 at 11:02 AM

I'm coming in from a biased point of view because i've been pretty much everywhere I want to go multiple times and i've been living in Orlando for almost 15 years. I rarely ever go to parks here anymore because of the crowds and the weather. Busch Gardens on a weekday in winter is really nice. I don't hate Disney and Universal at all, i'm glad they are successful, but the success has definitely led to me going waaaay less. I haven't been to UO in a few years and I live 15 minutes away. I haven't gone to DHS since before the new ride opened because i'm not going through that rigmarole to get on that ride. If I were younger I definitely would but as an adult i'm not going to do that now. I love much of the stuff Disney has been adding: Avatar is amazing and Star Wars is pretty good, i'll gladly go see it once in a while, but it's not worth the punishing "experience" of going WDW and dealing with those huge crowds and the heat.

I feel the same way about places like the Met, the Louvre, Venice, etc. I wish it wasn't like this because while they are amazing attractions but sadly you can't focus on what makes them great because you have to focus on navigating the massive seas of humanity. Of course this used to be avoidable by going during non-touristy times but the past decade or so i've noticed that's become pretty much impossible. Heck I went to the Met last year on what you would expect to be a slow weekday and we were the only American's there...I should rephrase that...we were the only people from the western world there. The place was packed with Mandarin speaking Chinese, and they weren't even tour groups, they were all families with kids. They were literally everywhere, we were the only ones speaking English in the whole museum. When I went to the Forbidden City in Beijing there were a lot of international tourists but the place was also packed with Chinese tourists, I would expect at least some American's to be visiting America's biggest and most famous museum.

The last major trip I took was a month in Europe. We went to a lot of parks, a lot of countries, and saw a lot of sights. We took trains, planes, and automobiles. Honestly when we got back my first thought was "the next vacation is going to be renting a car and spending a week in the woods in Montana away from humanity"

January 30, 2020 at 3:14 PM

I would love to go to Orlando more often if it was not for finding the time off and the expense. WDW has become noticeably more expensive over the past ten years. All Stars Music could be had for less than $100 a night ten years ago. Now a stay there is at least $120 a night. It is still doable, but we are scaling back our trips to maybe once every two years now.

January 30, 2020 at 4:32 PM

We`ve been to WDW three years in a row, so we`re waiting to go in 2021, when there will be more new stuff open.

January 31, 2020 at 6:50 AM

@sxcymike - you are killing our planet. PLEASE be considerate to the rest of humanity and scale back on your international travel plans

January 31, 2020 at 10:10 AM

Ah, the vanguard of the New Jacobins has arrived!

"you are killing our planet...scale back on your international travel plans"

Why stop there? Why not scale back on your domestic travel plans? Or better yet - get rid of your cars and ride a bicycle or sail a boat across the Atlantic like the all-knowing wunderkid, Greta Thunberg.

Who gets to decide when we're killing/not killing the planet? Some 16-year old with of smidgen of life experience or somebody who's working his or her butt off to keep a roof over their heads, put food on the table, and raise their kids to be decent human beings?

My experience has been that people who are more frequent international travelers are more likely to be compassionate to all of humanity instead of just their immediate circle of associates and far less likely to do damaging things to society like being xenophobic or racist. We need more international travel.

February 2, 2020 at 11:45 AM

Wow!@Wizard it’s one thing to change your own behavior, you have no place telling someone else how to live, mind your own business please! Anyway onto the question....
Travel in general: Nothing really. Husband is from London, I’m from MI, and we live in Cali so don’t really have a choice! We’re going on a vacation with the in-laws to Mallorca in October. We just have to be really smart about when and where we go to make it as affordable as possible. Not looking forward to the 13 hours on planes but isn’t enough to stop me from going! Luckily we have no kids, flexible jobs and live in a place close to a lot of cool vacation areas, so we’ll go closer if we just want to get away quickly. We met working on a cruiseline so I guess that shows how much we value travel, we will find a way no matter what!
The reason I don’t go to WDW is because I get to go to DL all the time but also because of the FP+ situation. I would even have a free place to stay in FL, I just don’t want to have to plan every part of my trip beforehand. Maybe if they get rid of it one day I’ll go back...

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive