76% of Travelers Set Their Sights on a Post-Pandemic Vacation

76% of Travelers Set Their Sights on a Post-Pandemic Vacation

Luxury travel expectations influenced by health and safety guidelines
Travelers using hand sanitizer during a flight

With the coronavirus vaccine rollout well underway, many people are fighting the effects of cabin fever by planning their next vacation.

The American Express Travel: Global Travel Trends Report found that people long to travel again, with many participants revealing that they’re already taking steps to prepare for their next trip, once it’s safe to do so. In fact, 76% of survey respondents reported creating a travel destination wish list, even though travel may not be in the cards for them just yet.

After spending months at home, many are looking for a change of scenery

A lack of funds isn’t stopping those bitten by the travel bug: The American Express report revealed that 63% of travelers are already saving up their credit card points to offset the cost of their future vacation.

Additionally, 56% of its respondents were willing to book a trip, despite the possibility they might have to cancel later on. For many of the survey participants, this freewheeling approach seems to be one driven by emotion, as 87% stated that these travel plans gave them something to look forward to.

A ValuePenguin survey published in January found that 57% of its participants have already planned a trip for this year, with 28% of that group having already booked their tickets.

During a time where planning for the future is full of uncertainties, making travel plans — even ones that are nothing more than wishful thinking — are a bright spot for many.

Safety remains a priority for travelers

Although the pandemic has not changed travel plans for some, another ValuePenguin survey found that many of these people began taking additional safety precautions during their trip. This focus on safety will not subside once the pandemic is over, either.

American Express found that 65% of respondents will travel once they and their family members have been vaccinated. Many are prioritizing safety over popularity in their destinations as well — 80% of respondents are open to offseason travel in order to avoid crowds, while 69% are interested in visiting lesser-known, second-city destinations.

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has also changed what luxury travel looks like for many of American Express’s survey participants, with the most sought-after amenities being:

  • Personalized experiences (82%)
  • High cleanliness standards (81%)
  • Privacy (79%)

"Privacy and exclusivity as well as wellness have been pushed to the forefront as consumers look for more intimate, impactful and purposeful travel," said Dino Michael, the Senior Vice President and Global Category Head at Hilton Luxury Brands.

"Luxury travel continues to blur the lines between the desire for privacy and experiential opportunities as consumers look for those safe yet unique travel moments that will make lifetime memories."

Methodology: Responses from the American Express report were gathered from an online poll conducted by Morning Consult between Jan. 15 and Jan. 24, 2021. Survey participants were made up of a national sample of 1,000 travelers (adults who traveled by air at least once in 2019) in Canada, Australia, Japan, India, the U.K. and Mexico and 2,000 travelers in the U.S.; respondents also had household incomes at or above the equivalent of $20,000, $50,000 and $70,000 in U.S. dollars, depending on their country of residence.