Travel Trends For 2021
Recently Skyscanner did a study looking at how travel is likely to change in 2021 based on COVID-19 and economic trends. These 4 key trends seem to align very well with what we are seeing in the industry.
In 2021 expect the trend of booking trips much more closer to the travel dates than in years past. Historically major trips are often books months in advance, both to get the best rates but also to lock in activities. However, with so many unknowns, research shows we are often waiting until very near the date to book.
This is driven heavily by the fear of policy changes preventing travel as well as general comfort level. Further away seems less “sure”. It will be interesting with the roll out of the COVID vaccines whether this trend will play out as strongly in 2021 as it did in 2020.
In addition to waiting until closer to a trip to book there is has been a continued trend towards near by destinations. This includes those that you can drive to, and when flying is involved, generally much shorter trips. In addition to the complexity of health and visa restrictions for long distance and international travel, there is a general trend towards avoiding long haul flights and extended trips. There is a perception of less risk from shorter flights than with extended periods in the air.
Fly + drive
There is a significant trend towards mixing more driving than flying, or even outright avoiding flying all together. There is also a desire to add driving to final destinations, rather than taking an additional short connecting flight. For example, rather than flying directly to a Ski destinations, the trend has been to book a flight to the nearest major city, renting a car and driving the rest of the way. The perception is that this reduces the number of flights, and people, you come into contact with.
Another major trend, in addition to waiting until closer to book, is making true last minute decisions. This ensures little to no risk of losing deposits, but also ensures the trip will not be canceled. With so many unknowns about destinations, travelers are waiting for the last minute to pick a destination at all. This helps ensure there is a comfort level with the destination.
Additional Travel Trends For 2021
In addition to Skyscanners 4 topics, we felt here are a few more we are seeing at Go Connect:
Staycations and nearby travel has seen a resurgence. This is driven by several of the factors listed above, but allows travelers to avoid most hassles. There is often a higher degree of comfort traveling to known destinations and there is generally fewer or even no restrictions traveling nearby. While in some urban areas this has included taking advantage of inexpensive hotels and relative empty restaurants, we are also seeing it manifest itself with beach travel, mountains and Airbnbs. Car enthusiasts, Golfers and those who enjoy the outdoors are also finding it an attractive way to “get away” without much risk.
Stay A Month
With Digital Nomading and Work From Anywhere being common place during the pandemic, the ability for travelers of all ages to visit destinations for weeks or even a month or more at a time is on the rise. While a number of true Digital Nomads had been taking the Work From Anywhere concept to the extreme even before the pandemic, as the number of remote workers has grown so have the number of people who are joining this trends. It also use to be primarily for the young or empty nesters, just starting or winding down their careers. Now we are seeing this trend adopted by all age groups, even those with families.
RVing has made this trend even more accessible. However, it’s not limited to RVers. Airbnbs and even long term hotels provide great options for long term working remote. Rather than “vacationing” for a week you have the opportunity to sample what it is like to live somewhere. And all of this works great when combined with the right travel router and hotspot solutions to ensure connectivity.
Technology Goes With You
While most hotels and Airbnb’s include WiFi and TVs, its becoming more and more common place to take your own technology with you. This includes items for work like monitors, keyboard and mouse and even printers/scanners. Even for non-work this now includes smart speakers like Sonos, gaming systems, streaming sticks and Smart Assistants. Most RVers, whether they bought or are renting, generally need to bring along their own technology as well.
While there is some technical setup needed to move these kind of devices from home to these other travel locations and get hem to work with the WiFi, it can be made a lot easier thanks to devices like travel routers. And when the WiFi isn’t good enough or isn’t available at all, cellular hotspots with router capabilities can step in.