New Travel Trends Shaping the Future of Travel
The recent China Virus pandemic has certainly changed everyday life in America and that extends to travel as well. Despite many stay at home orders and social distancing, travelers are finding new ways to explore the world, albeit closer to home. We understand that now is the time to reimagine travel during this time. There is an overall agreement that travel will look different coming out of this experience, but travel will come back! We did a survey of our clients and prospective clients and these are some current new travel trends that reveal how travel will be transformed in the coming years. We think you will be surprised by some of the answers…
**One of the greatest benefits of the pandemic for the travel advisor: The age of the DIY vacation experiences is over. The allure of planning a trip independently has been marred by images of passengers stranded in airports around the world without flights or hotels and everything canceled. For TravelKatz, making new bookings, ocean cruising, and beach vacations are some of the most popular trips requested at the moment and heading into 2021/2022 and beyond. Right now, these bookings are largely domestic beach vacations, but that is slowly changing to international trips. 76% of travelers asked where they were dreaming about going currently said “to the beach”.
Navigating the new normal is different for us, too. We need to know where clients can get a COVID test. Health and safety is the number-one concern of our clients who are wanting to travel. They want to know all of the requirements; will they have to quarantine when they get there, when they get home; what are the resident employees at the destination doing regarding their own health and safety?
TravelKatz is taking training on destinations. We are training on the health and security of a country and we are partnering with companies that are training us to make sure that we have the most up-to-date information. Once society can move beyond the pandemic, the key trends of the future will also look different from the norms of pre-pandemic travel. We, as travel advisors, will need to go forward in a new normal. Moving on…
**The luxury network has found that before the pandemic, short, weekend getaways were one of the most popular types of trips. Now, with work from home and virtual learning, people will be taking trips that are weeks long. These extended stays are not unusual but guests are asking for 28 days of vacation which offer more stability, trust, and a longer engagement with the resort. Travelers also want to experience more local interactions and real learning experiencers at the destinations. They want to come away from the destination feeling like they have added to their knowledge of a place and its culture, cuisine, and people.
**Another trend is multi-family travel, which has in some ways replaced multigenerational travel. Families are forming ‘travel pods’. Vacation pods or travel pods are coming up when two or more families have the same destination in mind and the same philosophy on social distancing come together. A recent survey showed that 79% of families would take part in a travel pod.
**One of the trends that we see for the future is an interest in large-scale accommodations. One of the new trends is that we see larger suites, private homes and big villas selling out first. People really love to enjoy a bigger space than they used to and a private pool is a must.
**Another trend is the abandonment of the sought-after turndown service, which has now been replaced by the turning down of services. Travelers want as little intervention by others in their travel experiences at the moment. They want contactless everything from hotel check in to room service to car rentals and more.
**Global entry’s allure has also been replaced by the idea of an immunity passport, identifying travelers as safe to explore and COVID-free. This is being looked at in many European countries as well as the United States. Identifying those who have either had the virus or currently, have been vaccinated is the option for this unique passport. The airlines are looking into this, too.
**So Jetsetting has, for the moment, been replaced by road-tripping, which many see as a safer option to flying during the pandemic. Jet-setting has also largely halted for Americans since they are no longer allowed entry into many countries around the world due to the severity of the outbreak in the country. 87% of travelers surveyed replied that they wanted to take a road trip. However, although travelers may have pressed pause on a jet-set lifestyle for some socially distanced road tripping, they don’t count air travel out just yet. 66% of respondents to the survey indicated that they would get on an airplane right now and that they would also pay extra to keep the middle seat open with 73% saying they would be willing to. TravelKatz website offers many road-trip options all around the United States. Select Travel Packages, scroll down to Travel in the USA and you may discover a new and exciting place to visit right here. Let us help you plan that next road-trip.
**The survey data shows strong bookings for cruising in 2021 and 2022, currently outpacing 2018 levels. This interest is buoyed by River cruising, which is up 14% in 2021. Ocean cruising is down by just single digits, and traditional cruise clients are still willing to sail. However, just 37% of people would take a cruise right now! The survey found that the people who cruise and know the product are very loyal and will be back. When cruising returns, guests will want to engage with different destinations. One of the opportunities is to accelerate what we have been trying to do, which is to partner closely with the destinations in order to immerse guests in a new way. Classic aspects of the cruise experience will also go digital such as no more large gatherings on ship decks for safety drills. Listen to VacationNation Radio on 570 & 910AM – Saturdays at 7am & 3pm for updates on the cruise industry and the itineraries/destinations. Podcasts are available on our website, too.
**One of the biggest shifts to come is a desire for clear, transparent and flexible cancellation policies. People do not really want to be locked into a decision and that speaks to the unknowns in the world right now. That is why travel insurance is so important. TravelKatz implores each and every client to really think about making that very important purchase to cover and secure their vacation plans.
**Looking at who wants to travel, it’s not a surprise that older travelers are largely choosing to wait it out while younger ones are ready to go. 100% of 18- to 25-year-olds responded they were ready to travel in the survey. Gen-X and Millennials were about a 60-40 and 50-50 split on their willingness to travel now, and just around 20% of those over 56 years of age were willing to go now. There’s a huge desire for wanting to travel. Travelers aren’t canceling but they are taking their bookings from 2020 to 2021 and 2022.
**One thing that hasn’t changed is travelers’ passion for adventure. Adventure and experiences is what travelers want. Major cities are going to be out and travelers will look for villas and experiences for the family. Many destinations that are interesting are the Galapagos, Iceland, and the Antarctic, to name a few…
So…get your bags packed and get ready to travel…there will be a surge in reservations for the 2021, 2022, and even for 2023. Be prepared to make your deposit to secure your mode of travel whether it is ocean or river cruising, destination resorts, or traveling across the USA. Nothing will be guaranteed without that all important deposit. Know where you want to go, how many will be traveling with you, how long you want to stay, what you want to do while there, and how you want to get there, and your budget – then let TravelKatz do the planning for you. Call us at 352-277-7300 or email Kathryn and Sandra at [email protected] . Take a look at www.travelkatz.com for suggestions. And don’t forget the Travel Insurance…you can talk to us about that, too. We have a couple of companies that we exclusively use for our clients and the satisfaction rate is through the roof…!