We are all Day Dreaming About Vacation Experiences & Travel
It would be fair to say that almost everyone at this point is just screaming to go on a (well-deserved) vacation. Even though we really feel the need to scratch our travel itch, recent surveys say without a widely distributed vaccine and increased health and safety precautions, the majority of us will look for travel inspiration, daydream for our next vacation, and start booking for a trip a little later in the year. While the pandemic has most travelers rethinking the way and when they travel, there is an increase in the ability to be able to travel further than just our own backyards. Here are some of the trending types of vacations people are most excited about when it’s safe to do so.
Chasing Warm Temps & Soft Sand Beaches
Now, I may be slightly biased here being from the Caribbean and now living in the cold northeast winter and wanting to head to the warm sunny beach. But, many consumers agree. As of last year, there has been an increase in people wanting to head out to water vacations. From running to the beach or the lake…any large body of water to relax and disconnect. 2020 Travel surveys by Expedia and others saw a rise in interest to visit water destinations near and far, and that trend continues to hold strong among U.S. travelers.
Bucket List Catch Up
Bucket List travel is being booked in record numbers for 2021 and beyond. It is clear that our collective passion for travel has us wanting to cross more of those desirable destinations off our list. Due to restrictions and regulations, there is a pent up demand for bucket list travel destinations, and travelers wanting to make up for lost time. While people are planning years out for these experiences, it is appealing to families, younger generations and smaller groups to spend time sharing an experience that really matters. Be it an African Safari, a Caribbean escape, Burning Man, Coachella (if we see those come back) or a European backpacking expedition, travelers are daydreaming, researching, and starting to book their bucket list travel experiences.
Live Like a Local & Support Local
Getting away and immersing in a new environment is exciting, and for those who make the effort to support the local community while they visit are in for a truly authentic experience no matter what their destination. “Live like a local” takes on true meaning for the traveler who is committed to really engaging with locals in the communities they visit. Not only from eating somewhere local and trying dishes that are unique to that destination but also shopping local for gifts and treasures, supporting women or special groups of social causes, and more. Travelers even sometimes bring in items needed by local organizations, like orphanages and other charities. The post-pandemic traveler is looking for more meaning to their experiences by engaging with the local community.
Mental Health Reset
2020 was rough, and 2021 is looking like it will have similar challenges. Everyone is due for a great stress-free distraction from the demands of our everyday lives. We all feel happier after a vacation and by taking a break, we evaluate how happy we really are in life in the bigger picture. It’s a moment that allows us to reset, and reevaluate what’s really important, reflect on the values we hold dear. Taking a (safe) vacation and break is now more important than ever. It means stepping away from the pandemic stressors, (as much as possible), stepping back from the absorbing media/news, stepping aside from our jobs and demands of life, and resetting our mental health to be the best person we can be.
Eco-environmentalist Focused Traveler
Different than a trip solely focused on wellbeing and eco-environmentalism, this experience is more focused on a person’s carbon footprint as a result of their travel journey. This travel experience is much more focused on achieving as close to possible zero emission experience. From selecting environmentally friendly, responsible travel service providers to airline, hotel, and transportation at the destination, the eco-environmentalist focused traveler knows and believes this type of travel is good for the mind/soul and mother earth.
Ultra Personalized Luxury Travel
The need for safety has led to a desire for luxury. Travelers are booking private jets, villas, yachts, chefs, and private tour experiences. The personalized level of detail of the experience must top-notch and designed with that traveler’s specifications in mind. Of course, it’s all done with a click on either smartphone or computer, allowing travelers to design a perfectly personalized vacation experience. With more contactless technology integrated across hospitality and tourism providers, this ultra-personalized luxury experience attainable no matter the destination.
Short More Frequent Getaways For Celebration Travel
With so many family and friends having missed out on an entire year of celebrations, it’s no surprise there is a growing trend of shorter, smaller group getaways. Due to uncertainty and restrictions, travelers are finding ways to safely venture out closer to home. Gen Xers, Boomers, and even Millennials are looking to quickly get away more frequently for celebration travel. This has resulted in shorter stays that make birthday, anniversary, or momentous occasions the perfect reason to safely reconnect with loved ones.
“The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach.” It’s a saying my grandmother taught me and one that rings true even today in the world of travel. Today’s experience hungry travelers are choosing destinations based on their palette and want their trip to be filled with culinary delights they can’t find near home. From five star restaurants to farm-to-table or exclusive chef experiences, foodies are digging into destinations that can cater to their appetites.
Flexible, Value Luxury
With many people financially challenged in some way by the pandemic, more and more consumers will demand “ value for their money”, especially when it comes to their travel experiences. Everything from flights to accommodation to food and beverage, entertainment, excursions, and more. Fact is, the cost of travel now, and post-pandemic will be higher. Consumers now also have to consider the additional costs to travel including PCR testing and additional health insurances. All of these are challenges that add to the stress of pre-planning a vacation and increase the consumer’s demand of value for money.
Digtal Nomad/ Workcation
With more and more people now working remote, the digital nomads/workcation travel trend is leading the way for the new gig economy, as more professionals travel and work at the same time. During the pandemic, we have seen numerous destinations launch extended-stay travel programs to entice this group by ensuring connectivity, local experiences, and relaxation, all while still being able to meet their life obligations as well.
What type of vacation are your most excited to get out and enjoy?
Until Next time ~ Ayri