The global pandemic turned travelers’ plans upside down in 2020. Looking ahead to 2021, the impact of the pandemic is changing not just our choice of destination but also the type of trips we’re most likely to take in the coming year.
Our new research reveals the five emerging trip types for 2021 to motivate and inspire travelers to take a trip (or five) to best fit their newfound travel preferences.
1. Solace in Solo
The solo travel trend is likely to gather even greater momentum as people’s thirst to travel, which was stymied by the pandemic, will nudge them to take the plunge to travel on their own in 2021. Our data pre-pandemic saw only 17%* of travelers were planning a trip on their own, while 30%** now say they will be planning a solo trip in the future. With 42%** of travelers saying they want to travel more in the future to make up for travel time lost in 2020, this mentality is no doubt encouraging travelers to plan a solo trip of a lifetime, to get back out in the world!
The unexpected halt to travel plans for most travelers has meant that just being able to travel at all is a luxury, in fact, 61%** of travelers have pledged to not take travel for granted in the future. So while research shows that travelers still have a high intention to travel again, only 13% ** are now actually planning a luxury getaway (such as a villa, 5-star hotel), with the majority (51%** planning a relaxing trip to get away from it all making relaxation the real luxury of 2021.
3. Breakaway Bubbles
In 2020, most travelers have had extended time apart from friends and family. For many it appears that distance has made the heart grow fonder as 61%** of travelers plan to use future travel as an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones. In fact, while being apart, 36%** of travelers have revealed that talking to friends and family about traveling is one of their main inspirations to travel again.
4. Weekend Wonders
With many travelers feeling apprehensive that future travel plans could be disrupted again, there will be an increased demand for a quick trip as over half of travelers (53%)** want to take more shorter breaks in 2021 than they did in 2019 to minimize any disappointment. A further 28%** also revealed their preference of a weekend break for their first trip once restrictions are lifted, showing travelers’ desires to be able to escape reality, even for just a few days.
5. Food for Thought
Travelers’ desire to explore the world has not diminished but traveling abroad is still being avoided by a majority of travelers (53%**) as travel restrictions are lifted. That is why local travel is the new way of exploring the world, with culinary delights being top of the list. And with taste buds at the ready, 36%** of travelers are keen to taste and indulge in local cuisine while traveling, with 38%** wanting to eat out more often with the money saved from not traveling abroad.
To delve deeper into Booking.com’s predictions for the Future of Travel, visit https://www.booking.com/articles/category/future-of-travel.html.