As we turned the corner into January, the travel industry was filled with optimism. Cruise ships were sailing the seas, air traffic was on the rise, trains were on the move, and borders were re-opening to buses and cars. Then along came another COVID variant, one more contagious than the last, and suddenly everything was being re-evaluated yet again.
With the pandemic still affecting almost every aspect of our lives, it’s difficult to know what will happen with domestic and international travel this year, but industry experts have some educated guesses. Here are their top predictions for travel trends in 2022:
Travel as Self-Care
The pandemic has reinforced the need for us to focus on our physical and mental health. This has led to us adopting new fitness routines, trying alternative forms of medication and mindfulness, rethinking what food we consume, and planning relaxing vacations and retreats.
A report from the Global Wellness Institute shows wellness tourism growing at a faster rate than any other part of this booming industry. In addition, travelers planning wellness-based trips are “willing to spend more on travel experiences, services, and amenities that support their health and well-being” according to the report.
“Greatest of All” Trips
As pandemic-related travel restrictions kept us close to home, we dreamed of lying on the beach in Thailand, island-hopping in Indonesia, and seeing the sights in South Korea. Although temporary restrictions have once again been put in place due to the recent surge of the Omicron variant, travelers are planning post-pandemic trips on a grand scale. Expedia’s 2022 Travel Trends Report shows that 68% of Americans plan to make their next trip the GOAT (or Greatest of All Trips).
Consumers planning splurge-worthy vacations should be careful to protect their investment with travel insurance. Comparison sites like TravelInsurance.com can help you find the best options for your travel insurance needs.
Life is an Adventure
While some of us are craving a relaxing respite from COVID-induced stress, others are yearning for adrenaline-filled adventures. Expedia’s survey revealed that 41% of respondents are looking forward to feeling excited and exhilarated again, while 11% are hoping to try more daring activities on their next vacation.
This is another area where travelers should seriously consider getting travel insurance. Many of TravelInsurance.com’s trusted insurance providers offer adventure coverage riders that cover thrill seekers as they soar through the skies or dive into the ocean depths.
The paradigm shift from commuting into the office every Monday through Friday to working remotely from home on a part-time or full-time basis, has given rise to the work-cation. This flexible arrangement allows travelers to combine work and vacation time in destinations close to home and around the world. Award-winning travel company Kayak has compiled data showing that more than 40% of Gen Z workers plan to take this kind of trip during 2022.
The hospitality industry has responded to the work-cation trend with packages that give remote workers access to dedicated business facilities in addition to traditional hotel amenities.
Younger generations are also into trip-stacking, a recent recreational trend that involves going on several sequential trips before returning home. The CEO of Contiki, Adam Armstrong, notes that data collected by the company shows an increase in back-to-back bookings for 2022, particularly among travelers aged 18 to 35. Rather than requesting a day off on either side of a long weekend, millennials and members of Gen Z are more likely to take larger segments of paid time off than their predecessors. They leverage their PTO and flexible work arrangements for trips that average 9 to 11 days at a time and include more than one destination.
Although this can be a more efficient and economical way to travel, experts advise that trip-stackers consider taking out travel insurance for the entire time they will be away from home. There is a lot to gain by being able to explore more of the world than you would during an average vacation, but there’s also a lot to lose if you must cancel multiple trips at once.
The Law of Attraction
It’s no secret that the pandemic wreaked havoc with the travel industry. In order to turn things around, companies have had to come up with ways to attract consumers who may be (understandably) cautious about taking domestic and international trips. From day passes to double points, every sector of the industry has had to jockey for position in a competitive environment. Hotels are offering curated experiences, cruises are giving future credits of 125% of the booked value, and airlines are re-imagining their loyalty programs. Competition has created a traveler’s market and this trend is expected to continue throughout the pandemic.
The Great Outdoors
Another continuing trend is outdoor travel. Many travelers still prefer to avoid crowded city centers while the pandemic rages on. Kayak reports that outdoorsy destinations providing fresh air and fresh scenery are in high demand, Wyndham has seen an increase in annual bookings for properties located near national parks, and the RV industry is expecting double-digit growth in 2022. The chairman of the RV Industry Association, Jeff Rutherford, attributes this to consumer desire to experience the great outdoors and all it has to offer.
En Route with Rover
A survey by Mars Petcare showed that 74% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 want to bring their pets with them when they resume post-pandemic travel. Major hotel brand Hilton is responding by making more of their properties pet-friendly in 2022.
Return of the Travel Advisor
While dedicated search engines like Expedia and Kayak make it easy for travelers to book their own trips, travel advisors shouldn’t be taken for granted. Luxury travel consultants expect more travelers to seek the advice of a seasoned professional during 2022. Experienced travel advisors can help their clients rebook flights, negotiate credits, score perks, and navigate rules and restrictions.
While these predictions and trends for travel in 2022 are based on data collected and analyzed by industry experts, the pandemic has shown us that anything can happen. For that reason, the best travel accessory is not the latest set of luggage, the most advanced pair of noise-canceling headphones, or the comfiest neck pillow—it’s travel insurance.
Travel insurance offers you peace of mind before and during your trip. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, staying close to home, or venturing farther away, sleeping under the stars or at a five-star resort, travel insurance can protect you against financial losses that may occur. A general travel insurance policy can be combined with riders that are specific to the circumstances of your trip and can cover everything from minor inconveniences to major catastrophes.
TravelInsurance.com is a great place to find coverage from top-rated companies like Generali Global Assistance, AXA, John Hancock, Trawick International, Travelex, and others. Our comparison engine lets you review benefits side-by-side and receive multiple quotes within minutes.
If you’re new to travel insurance, you’ll find the online learning center helpful. An easy-to-understand glossary, a guide that explains the different types of coverage, and answers to frequently asked questions make buying a travel insurance policy simple and straightforward.
Support is available for travelers who have general questions about travel insurance and emergency assistance is available for policyholders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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