Is the digital nomad life more hype than reality? Does gender dictate the preferred mode of travel for solo adventurers? Will a requirement to use a digital health passport make or break a traveler’s decision to take a trip?
We know the answers to these questions are defining current travel trends, but we wanted to better understand how. Last month, we asked more than 1,500 U.S.-based travelers about their travel plans to find out who’s getting back out on the road and in the skies—82% said they’d already traveled in the last three months and 98% plan to in the year ahead (including those who’ve already traveled).
We also asked how travelers feel about their recent trips; the reasons why people are traveling; as well as their levels of comfort and what their concerns are with travel (like the, eh-hem, uptick in unruly passengers), and more.
Here’s what they had to say.
Travelers are back in the skies; millennials and Gen Xers lead the return
Did our summer travel forecast accurately predict Americans’ return to travel? That’s what our latest data suggests. According to a survey we conducted last month, the majority of respondents (82%) said they’ve already traveled in the last three months. Fifty-two percent of travelers said they have already taken a domestic flight; 73% have taken a road trip with a personal car; 39% have taken a road trip with a rented car; and 13% have flown on an international flight.
Of those who have traveled in the last three months, millennials and Gen Xers have returned to travel at consistently higher rates than boomers:
- 53% of millennials and 55% of Gen Xers have already flown on a domestic flight, compared with 48% of boomers
- 71% of millennials and nearly 77% of Gen Xers have already taken a road trip with a personal car, compared with 65% of boomers
- 32% of millennials and 32% of Gen Xers have already taken a road trip with a rented car, compared with 21% of boomers
- 16% of millennials and 14% of Gen Xers have already flown internationally, compared with 9% of boomers
Vacation—all Americans ever wanted
For Americans planning to travel in the next year, an overwhelming majority (87%) plan to take a vacation—up 10% from survey data we released in May. A business trip (52%) and a trip to visit family and/or friends (42%) rounded out the top three reasons for traveling.
The top reasons for taking a trip have remained mostly consistent with the survey data we released back in March. At that time, of the 94% of respondents that said they plan to travel in 2021, taking a vacation was also the most popular reason to travel (73%), followed by a trip to visit family and/or friends (53%), and a business trip (43%).
What’s causing the flip-flop in the number two and three spots?