From “Stay at Home” to “Stays Near Home”
For many, life has felt like it has been ‘on hold’ for quite some time and the word unprecedented has become commonplace due to restrictions and travel limitations as a result of COVID-19. But as we look ahead, there is hope in the air for ‘precedented’ times to come again. The hope that soon we will be able to return to ’normal’. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, once it is safe again to do so, we have commissioned research among more than 28,000 travelers from 28 countries and territories to uncover key insights into what travelers are excited for most once restrictions are lifted.
When it comes to global travelers’ priorities, reconnecting ranks highly - from meeting multiple family members to seeing a group of friends (both 72%). But traveling domestically for leisure is up there too, with equally as many people (72%) looking forward to exploring doorstep delights and the majority of travelers (65%) envisage doing so for the foreseeable future. Those who are most excited about the prospect of domestic travel once restrictions are lifted are Argentinians (83%), Italians (82%) and Russians (82%).
Yet, there is still over a third (35%) of global travelers who plan to get away as far as possible once travel restrictions are lifted. And those most keen to travel long distances are travelers from Israel (49%), Netherlands (45%), Russia (46%) and China (43%).
Back to travel plans
The travel hiatus has however changed many travelers' outlook and over half (58%) are now planning to avoid traveling to certain countries and have removed them from their ‘bucket list’. Those most likely to be re-writing their travel bucket list are Thai travelers (78%), Australian travelers (67%) and New Zealand travelers (67%). While time away from travel for some has put things into perspective, for others it's been a time to plan ahead for the long-awaited return to travel. 53% of travelers have used the extra time spent at home to plan future trips. With Vietnamese (74%), Colombian (72%) and Chinese (71%) travelers who are most excited to put that travel planning time to good use
And when it comes to taking those trips, some are not only well-planned, but also well-equipped...with extra leave. Almost half (45%) have saved up extra vacation days they can enjoy on a longer trip when they’re able to return to travel. With longer trips in the diary for Chinese (68%) and Vietnamese (67%) travelers who are the most likely to have been saving up their vacation days.
When dreaming about their next vacation, six in ten (61%) feel confident that they’ll be able to hit the beach by summer 2021, and a relaxing beach or spa trip will be the first type of trip 23% of travelers will take when they are able to do so. Travelers from Croatia (83%), Denmark (78%) and New Zealand (77%) are most likely to be planning a trip to feel the sand beneath their toes. Travel relaxation is key for travelers after an exhausting year, and only 6% will book an active trip and just 5% a city break as a priority.
Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who are planning to travel in the next 12 months. In total 28,042 respondents across 28 countries and territories were polled (including 1003 from Argentina, 1002 from Australia, 1000 from Brazil, 1001 from Canada, 1000 from China, 1002 from Colombia, 1001 from Croatia, 1003 from Denmark, 1002 from France, 1005 from Germany, 1004 from Hong Kong, 1000 from India, 1002 from Israel, 1000 from Italy, 1000 from Japan, 1002 from Mexico, 1000 from Netherlands, 1000 from New Zealand, 1003 from Russia, 1000 from Singapore, 1003 from South Korea, 1005 from Spain, 1001 from Sweden, 1000 from Taiwan, 1003 from Thailand, 1000 from UK, 1000 from USA and 1000 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in January 2021.