Get Ready to Travel Again
Vaccinated, ready, willing, and able to travel, it seems as if everyone is looking forward to a “vaxication” this summer. As Covid-19 starts to become part of the everyday norm, 73% of vaccinated American travelers report they are ready to get out and take some kind of trip in the next few months. The first trip planned will no doubt carry sentimental value. But how does one decide where to go on vacation in this type of environment? With so many amazing places to visit in the world, what destinations can ensure your safety with the necessary Covid-19 protocols in place, while also worthy of your hard-earned dollars for your much-needed overdue vacation? How do you know if the destination is a match for your wish list? Does it have the experiences you’re looking for? How much budget and time will you need to set aside? Will you book it yourself or get the help of a trusty travel advisor? Where do you get inspiration for that unique experience only a vacation can bring, with all the health and safety information you need. So many questions before even starting one’s travels nowadays….
It’s All About Reconnecting
It’s no secret that, due to the pandemic, travel has very much changed, and the reasons why travelers want to go on vacation have changed. Traditionally, pre-Coivd-19, a vacation meant escaping to somewhere unfamiliar, seeing the world, learning a new skill, or experiencing something that expands your perspective. Today, as we near less intensity of this pandemic, one of the biggest drivers of travel is reconnection. Having had forced time apart most people now crave being reconnecting with family and friends they have not been able to see for a long time. Clearly, everyone is wanting to make up for lost time, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, postponed weddings, and many other missed celebrations. One of those celebrations the sheer fact of having been vaccinated, hence, taking a “vaxication.” Today, people are traveling to reconnect with themselves, their family, friends, and loved ones. There are many motivators for travel and, ultimately, the reasons people love to travel are varied and personal.
Endless Destination Travel Inspiration
There is no lack of inspiration when it comes to travel. The endless source of wanderlust content spread across the internet, social media, and travel sites are endless. Finding inspiration via travel blogs or influencers, and travel sites listing “Top Places to Visit” will forever keep you motivated to travel somewhere in the world. According to Expedia, in the U.S alone, consumers spend 8.7 billion minutes on travel sites. On average, the forty days prior to taking a trip, the average consumer will have visited 140-160 travel sites, or, on average, 290 websites (across multiple devices!) all before booking a vacation. The amount of time that American consumers spend gobbling up digital travel content is insane. But how does one really choose a place, now that you’re inspired to travel? What is important in today’s environment as you narrow down your choices on where to go? According to Network Research, which surveyed adults about both holiday and leisure vacations, time and time again (80%) we lean on friends and family recommendations when finally picking the destination or experience. This pattern of behavior is one that has not changed. As the pandemic upended the travel industry, there was still a smaller group of consumers willing and able to travel. These early adopters, in many ways, tested the waters and reported back on how easy (or hard) it was to travel to destinations that are and continue to, open for travel. So, as more potential travelers look at where to go on a vacation, some key destination “deciding factors” will be, ease and convenience in managing Covid-19, plus everything else we look for on a vacation. According to the latest Travel Pulse data, travelers this summer are looking forward to getting away to beach destinations, small vacation towns, including the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, and Florida. One thing is certain, as we get to continue to get closer to putting the pandemic behind us, and more people get vaccinated and feel comfortable traveling again, they will once more heavily rely on friends and family for their reviews and recommendations when choosing where to go.
A Few Main Concerns Remain For Travelers
While confidence grows among consumers, there are still some main concerns trending among travelers. The majority of these concerns surround questions about quarantine requirements in destinations and the availability of rapid testing for international return travel into the U.S. Other questions from consumers include health and safety measures, social distancing, sanitization protocols, curfew hours, seat capacity restrictions on tours, and the like. More than ever before destinations need to clearly communicate health and safety information to potential travelers in addition to their traditional tourism offerings. All of these components are the deciding factors when evaluating where to go on vacation in today’s environment.
Book Sooner, You’ll Thank Me Later
Here’s why; not only will it give you something to look forward to, but know that while the pandemic sent airfares to historic lows in 2020 and prices remained fairly consistent the first few months of 2021, air ticket prices are crawling back up and reaching pre-pandemic levels. Finding incredible deals will get trickier as travel demand continues to pick up. Given the current surge in demand for travel and with a majority of people itching to get away now for summer, many hot spot summer locations will book up quicker as hotels are starting to fill, vacation rentals are being booked up, and car rentals have limited availability. So, I encourage you to book sooner rather than later. It provides welcome peace of mind that your vacation is booked, so you can get excited about actually going. Oh, and a tip always review your cancelation policy when booking! Flexible booking policies that have come around due to the pandemic are still in place should you need to cancel for any reason, make sure you understand these when booking.
Have you booked your VAXICATION yet?
Until next Time ~ Ayri
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