Global accommodations search platform trivago recently conducted a survey to see how consumers are planning, dreaming and considering travel in 2021. After a year that changed everything, it’s clear that modern travel has been profoundly altered, perhaps forever. As the vaccine rollout continues and restrictions begin to lift in parts of the globe, eager travellers everywhere wait patiently for the clear signal to be able to getaway and adventure once again.
The consumer omnibus survey, conducted from 3-9 January, polled more than 2,000 adults in the US and UK. The results reveal significant desires to travel, including what consumers would give up, what they’d like to do and where they’d like to go, as well as why they’d like to get back on the road.
We’d give up lot to travel again
Thinking about their first trip after the pandemic, majorities say it makes them feel excited (US, 56%; UK, 54%) and/or happy (US, 53%; UK, 52%). In fact, we’re so desperate to travel, 25% of both Britons and Americans say they would give up all their savings to do it now, and around two-fifths (US, 38%; UK, 40%) say they’d give up sex for a year to get on the road right away.
One in five said they would give up their partner to travel now, and even more telling, nearly half would give up their job (US, 48%; UK, 41%). It’s clear that travel plays a massive role in our lives and overall happiness.
2020 made us focus on self-care, but how does travel fit in
More than 80% of those surveyed somewhat or strongly agree that travel is a part of a well-rounded life. The concept of travel as a form of selfcare/wellness and to expand one’s perspective is one that continues to grow. In both countries substantial majorities say that being prevented from traveling freely is one of the worst aspects of the pandemic (US, 81%; UK, 82%) and that because of the pandemic this is the most they’ve ever felt like traveling (US, 58%; UK, 61%).
Increasingly, we see emotional wellbeing as another driver for travel and the need to get away. When they do travel, respondents appear likely to incorporate new interests – more than half (US, 57%; UK, 56%) say they’ve picked up a new hobby since the start of the pandemic, with most who’ve done so expressing surprise at their newfound passion. The vast majority of those (US, 68%; UK, 64%) think it’s at least somewhat likely they’ll pick a vacation connected to the new hobby once the pandemic ends.
Given all this, a travel boom post-pandemic appears likely as consumers strive to make up for lost time.
Definition of dream vacation has changed
The typical idea of a big trip or vacation – planned ahead and saved for – is becoming obsolete with travel restrictions and the ability to plan ahead all but impossible. In addition, the isolation and distance of lockdowns has changed the dynamic of dream vacations as we think of them. The #1 choice for Americans and Britons for their “dream vacation” was a chance to spend “time with the family and friends I’ve missed” (US, 26%; UK, 34%), with this particularly high with seniors in each country (US, 35%; UK, 47%).
Overall, traveling again is inevitable. More than 4 in 5 of the respondents (US, 84%; UK, 87%) see travel as fundamental to a good life and two-thirds or more (US, 72%; UK, 66%) say they plan to travel even more than they have in the past once the pandemic ends.