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In our rapidly changing world, it can be hard to make travel plans. Should I book my trip abroad? Should I be safe and travel locally? Do I need to change the way I travel?
There are so many new questions to contend with and the picture isn’t getting much clearer. Fortunately, Plum Guide have sifted through their data to inform us with their Travel Trends for 2021, giving us helpful insights into how people feel about travel.
Here’s what you need to know to ensure you’re hitting holidaymakers with the right information.
1. Travellers are taking more time to commit to their decisions
It’s no surprise to see that holidaymakers are becoming much more risk averse, taking longer to commit to a flight or travel booking, and feeling less confident about doing so. This seems only natural in a landscape that could change at any moment.
The demand for extra insight before booking is also increasing as government rules and regulations affect travel decisions on a daily basis. The only way to provide jet-setters with the confidence to book is by giving them the flexibility to change their hotel or flight booking at no extra cost.
2. Local travel is more popular than ever
The rise of staycations is hardly surprising in the current climate, but it shows that the desire to take a trip rarely dwindles. It also has the added benefit of making getaways more eco-friendly by reducing the carbon footprint.
It’s a thrill driving to a holiday destination too – with that wonderful sense of freedom after a prolonged period of being stuck at home. Press play on the road trip music playlist and rediscover your homeland.
3. Holidaymakers are choosing cottage retreats more
There’s a demand for safe travel, which means avoiding crowded cities and opting for countryside retreats.
Due to fears around public health in shared facilities like swimming pools, dining areas and reception spaces, people are opting for accommodation where they have the option of a private pool and self-catering facilities.
Homes with office and outdoor spaces are proving popular too, and larger homes are being booked to cater for get-togethers and school holidays.
So the upcoming travel season is all about open spaces, room to have larger gatherings, and experiencing natural wonders.
4. Shorter stays
It’s not particularly clear why people are choosing shorter stays than normal. Perhaps it’s the uncertainty? Or everyone is saving their paid leave to venture farther out for longer trips once the opportunity arises?
In the UK, travellers have gone from an average of 11 nights to 7 nights’ stay. While US vacationers have gone from an average of 13 nights to 11 nights’ stay.
5. Cancellation policies are crucial
In these uncertain times, holidaymakers need a safety net for their travel plans. Cancellation policies ensure that people don’t incur additional travel expenses if things go awry. Flexibility to adjust or cancel plans is very important to travellers in the midst of a global pandemic.
6. Pet-friendly accommodation is in demand
In lockdown, many households have welcomed a new pet or two, which has led to people seeking pet-friendly accommodation for their new furry friends.
Consequently, hotels are beginning to cater more for pet owners. Travel advisors will also need to freshen up on their knowledge of rules and restrictions for travel as there is a lack of verified, up-to-date information on pet-friendly travel options.
Travel trends have definitely shifted as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Customers who once focused on finding the best bargain or the best beach are now asking about safety, testing requirements and cancellation policies.
The demand for extra insight before booking is understandably increasing. With on-going government guidelines affecting travel decisions, people are favouring staycations over travelling abroad more than ever.
The one good thing is that there is a newfound appreciation of how much beauty we have on our doorstep. Holidaymakers who would normally travel to distant destinations have rediscovered their own nation’s countryside, coastal towns or quirky hotels.
When travel becomes safer, people may start looking farther afield again. But for now, safety and flexibility are key priorities for holidaymakers.
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