The Future Plans of US Travelers

July 5, 2021

We know that Americans are eager to travel again and if you’re tracking the rebound of travel, you’ll know it’s all good news for the vacation rental industry.

Europ Assistance and Generali Global Assistance recently released the findings of their first Vacation Rental Barometer Report, a joint international survey of 8,700 travelers from over 8 countries in Europe and the US. Travelers were questioned on their future travel plans with an encouraging 80% of respondents planning to travel in the next 18 months. This is a huge boost of confidence for both the industry and travelers.

As more Americans get vaccinated, travel corridors form, and borders open, the CDC continues to revise its travel recommendations. Europe is slowly beginning to open up to vaccinated Americans, domestic destinations are lifting mandates and loosening their COVID-19 restrictions, and popular summer vacation destinations across the US are near to fully booked.

“Given the pent-up demand for travel it’s not surprising that approximately 80 percent of respondents indicated that they planned to travel in the next 18 months. Based on the findings of our Vacation Rental Barometer and current industry trends, we anticipate that travelers will flock to vacation rentals as they look to have a relaxing socially distanced getaway,” said Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance.

The results of the survey give the industry good insights into the future of travel and the short-term travel trends that have emerged from the pandemic.

Vacation Rentals are Still the #1 Accommodation Choice

The top three motivating factors when choosing accommodations are comfort, tranquility, and privacy, and staying in a vacation rental ticks all those boxes, and more! Professionally managed vacation rentals offer travelers the comforts of home with enhanced cleaning and sanitization for a safe stay.

Vacation rentals continue to remain the #1 accommodation choice for travelers with 71% planning a vacation rental stay in the next 18 months and 86% stating they are likely to continue booking vacation rentals for future travel accommodation.

Outdoors Domestic Destinations Continue to Trend

Travelers are still erring on the side of caution and choosing outdoorsy, rural, and secluded destinations over city breaks and urban escapes, although urban destinations are slowly starting to trend upward. The top three motivating factors when choosing a destination are clear cleaning protocols, how busy the destination gets, and who they’re traveling with. Despite international travel slowly becoming more accessible, 83% of respondents said they would be taking a domestic trip with beaches, mountains, and lake destinations still topping the list.

Vaccinated Americans are Traveling

The survey showed that travel is a good motivator for many to take a COVID-19 vaccine. 82% of Americans and 83% of Europeans surveyed stated that vaccine availability is likely to affect their future travel plans. To date, 141.6 million Americans have been fully vaccinated and many are eager to book what is quite possibly their first vacation in a long time, the much-anticipated vaxication.

In additional recent research, Tripadvisor reveals increasing “Have Shot, Will Travel” travel behaviors with COVID-19 vaccines driving the demand for summer vacations and tourism recovery. Industry experts predicted the vaccination would be a catapult for the rebound of travel, the statistics show they were correct!

Peace of Mind

The survey also revealed the top three coverages that give travelers added peace of mind during the pandemic – cancellation or confinement in the event of COVID infection, reimbursement of unused travel days, and medical assistance and repatriation if their stay is interrupted. Flexible cancellation policies and insurance coverage are now prime considerations for travelers booking a vacation with 64% of Americans more likely to purchase travel insurance since the pandemic for additional peace of mind.

Stay in the Know

As property managers, it’s imperative to stay up to date with vacation rental industry insights and changing travel trends, as they will at some point impact your market and business. These insights give you an opportunity to market accordingly, upgrade your amenities and grow your offerings to meet guest expectations and enhance the guest experience.