The biggest travel trend of 2022: Go big, spend big

‘New sense of urgency’ to hit the highway

There’s a “new sense of urgency” to travel, mentioned Stephanie Papaioannou, a vice chairman on the luxurious travel firm Abercrombie & Kent. 

“Guests feel they have lost two years, and older clients are concerned about having fewer healthy years left to travel,” she mentioned.

Lee Thompson, co-founder of the journey travel firm Flash Pack, agreed.

“People are desperate to get away,” he mentioned. “They’ve been waiting to get back out there and are not shying away from those international destinations and big, once-in-a-lifetime adventures.”

The 12 months of the ‘GOAT’

Expedia is asking 2022 the 12 months of the GOAT, or the “greatest of all trips.”

In a survey of 12,000 vacationers in 12 international locations, the corporate discovered that 65% of respondents are planning to “go big” on their subsequent journey, in keeping with an organization consultant. As a end result, it named the will for thrilling and indulgent journeys “the biggest travel trend” of the 12 months.

A survey of 12,000 vacationers by Expedia discovered that Singapore residents had been the least more likely to have traveled in the course of the pandemic (59%) and the more than likely to wish to splurge (43%) on their subsequent journey.

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Amadeus is seeing a bounce in searches to “epic destinations,” in keeping with a company report published in November. Searches to Tanzania (+36%), flights to Jordan’s Petra (+22%) and bookings to cities close to Machu Picchu (practically +50%) rose from 2020 to 2021, in keeping with the report.

These developments are anticipated to develop this 12 months, together with curiosity in islands within the Indian Ocean in addition to Antarctica, in keeping with the report.

The pandemic has modified the “mood of travelers,” mentioned Decius Valmorbida, president of travel at Amadeus.

“We have people just say: “Look, what if one other pandemic occurs? What if I’m locked in once more?'” he said. There’s “a psychological impact that now’s the second.”

Searches for stays in vacation homes abroad are now on pace with 2019 levels, according to HomeToGo’s travel trends report, released in late November.

The international destinations drawing the biggest search increases this year, compared with 2019, are Tuscany, Italy (+141%), the Bahamas (+129%), French Polynesia’s Bora Bora (+98%), the Maldives (+97%) and the south of France (+88%), according to the report.  

The top-searched international destinations for Americans for 2022 travel are Rome, Bali, London, Paris and Mexico’s Riviera Maya — which includes Playa del Carmen and Tulum — according to Expedia.

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Research shows that those aged 18 to 34 are driving the trend, and families are also getting in on the act, said Abercrombie & Kent’s Papaioannou.

“Families are selecting locations they’ve at all times dreamt of, particularly these centered round outside experiences like Nile River cruises, Machu Picchu, safaris and barge cruises in Europe,” she mentioned.

Loosening purse strings

While financially devastating for some, the pandemic has allowed others — namely, professionals who have been able to work from home — to sock away more savings.

Some 70% of leisure travelers in major countries — such as the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Japan and Spain — plan to spend more on travel in 2022 than they have in the past five years, according to a November joint report by the World Travel & Tourism Council and travel website

Travelers are “extra prepared than ever earlier than” to splurge on future travels, according to Expedia.

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Globally, HomeToGo’s average booking expenditures increased by 54% last year, compared with 2019, according to company data. But average nightly rates haven’t gone up nearly that much — around 10% — for bookings this year compared with before the pandemic, said the company’s co-founder and CEO Patrick Andrae.

“Pent-up demand for travel led to vacationers taking longer holidays, many opting to take action in a spacious trip rental versus a lodge,” he said.

U.S. travelers are also seeking quieter, more luxurious destinations this summer — Maui over Honolulu, Nantucket over Cape Cod — despite the higher costs, according to HomeToGo’s data.

Travelers may be willing to pay more to go to certain places, rather than to make the trip itself more luxurious. Twice as many U.S. respondents indicated they were willing to spend more to see “bucket listing” destinations (32%) rather than book luxury experiences (15%) or room or flight upgrades (16%), according to Expedia.

The willingness and ability to spend more are likely a good thing, since travel costs have increased in some places. The U.S. Travel Association’s December Travel Price Index, which measures travel costs in the United States, shows that prices have increased for food (+10%), hotels (+13.3%) and motor fuel (+26.6%), compared with 2019.

Airfare, however, was lower than 2019 levels (-17%), according to the index — but that might quickly change, partly as a result of of rising jet gas prices.

Family reunions and ‘friendcations’

People are expected to travel more with friends and family this year.

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“People are nonetheless catching up for misplaced time with household,” he said. “Destinations that present for big multi-generation households, equivalent to these with a excessive stock of giant villas — together with the Caribbean, Mexico and Maldives — are seeing an uptick in bookings.”

The U.K. saw an explosion of bookings by large groups once restrictions eased, according to Amadeus. Bookings to party spots, such as Las Vegas; Cancun, Mexico; and the Spanish island of Ibiza, led the company to name “friendcations” a top travel trend for 2022.

Renewed demand for travel agents

Big journeys typically require big plans, which is leading to a renewed demand for travel brokers, mentioned Elizabeth Gordon, co-founder of the tour and safari operator Extraordinary Journeys.

Professional planners might help vacationers navigate “Covid-19 assessments, restrictions, adjustments in entry necessities, visas, flights, lodging, actions and backup plans,” she said.

Even “DIY vacationers,” who usually plan their very own journeys, are these days searching for skilled assist to ensure their upcoming travels are seamless, mentioned VIP Traveler’s Hoenig.

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