Summer is a month away, and with the weather warming up, many are already beginning to prepare for their next vacation. In its first-ever Vacation Rental Barometer, crisis protection provider Generali Global Assistance (GGA) surveyed over 8,000 travelers in the U.S. and Europe about their future travel plans.
It found that 80% of respondents planned on traveling in the next 18 months, with another 71% planning to book a vacation rental within that same time period. On top of that, 86% reported that they'd be more likely to continue booking rentals for their post-pandemic trips as well.
Shift in post-pandemic travel habits reflect COVID-19 impact
A different survey from American Express published in early March showed that 76% of U.S. travelers had already begun planning for a new trip.
However, perhaps out of an overabundance of caution, many Americans are staying closer to home for their first post-pandemic vacation. According to GGA, out of the 49% of respondents that planned to travel domestically for their next trip, 71% were Americans.
And while summer was the most popular season for travel for both American and European respondents, U.S. travelers were more likely to travel in the spring and fall compared with their counterparts across the pond.
When asked why they would pick a rental over other forms of vacation accommodations, the top reasons travelers offered included:
This lines up with the company's findings, as the Vacation Rental Barometer also revealed that the majority of respondents (77%) would book a vacation rental for leisure trips compared with business trips (9%). However, it did find that 13% would consider choosing a rental for extended work stays or a "flexcation" now that more people are working remotely than ever before.
Travelers take extra safety precautions for their next trip
Generali Global Assistance also discovered that vaccine availability was the factor most likely to impact travel plans for Americans (82%) and Europeans (83%). Most vacationers seem to have taken this into account in their planning, though.
Over 6 in 10 Americans (64%) and Europeans (66%) said that mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations wouldn't impact them, since they already planned on taking the vaccine. Similarly, another survey from Travel Leaders Network found that 85% of U.S. travelers have already gotten their vaccine or will do so when it becomes available to them.
As an extra precaution, more travelers may decide to purchase travel insurance policies for their post-pandemic vacation, too. GGA noted that 64% of Americans were more likely to purchase travel insurance following the pandemic, especially since cancellations due to COVID-19 infection or confinement remained the biggest coverage priority for 43% of all respondents.
Other top priorities for travel insurance coverage included:
- Medical assistance and repatriation (22%)
- Reimbursement of unused travel days in case their stay is interrupted (20%)
Methodology: Europ Assistance, a part of the Generali Group, and survey provider Phonic gathered data between Feb. 28-April 1, 2021 from 8,700 online respondents planning on taking a trip and booking a vacation rental in the next 18 months. Respondents were from the U.S., U.K., Spain, France, Portugal, Belgium, Germany and Italy.