Plus, Four Day Weekend’s Prediction on Travel this Year
We made it. We made it through 2020, one of the most unpredictable years, probably ever. After countless cancelled trips, rescheduled reunions, hours spent at home, and an abundance of airline miles accumulated, the world is ripe for a change.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is still very real, which creates an interesting dynamic for the travel industry. News of vaccines has the consumer more excited and eager to return to “normal” while certain states and governments continue to lockdown and even tighten restrictions (see: NYC and California). The result? Travelers fleeing to destinations of vacation refuge. Over the holidays, specifically the week between Christmas and New Year’s, over 1 million travelers a day passed through TSA checkpoints, compared to the less than 300,000 daily average back in April, May, and June 2020. The recent increase could be foreshadowing for what’s to come in this new year.
What does this all mean? Travel should continue to increase, specifically leisure travel, as airlines are maintaining lower flight prices, enticing those who feel comfortable hoping on a plane. But masks and other sanitation measures will likely still be necessary until more of the general population becomes vaccinated. The dichotomy creates a bit of confusion as to where travelers are allowed and how to act on vacation.
So, what’s “open”? Mostly southern states like Florida, South Carolina, Texas, and Arizona. Plus, spots like Tulum, Mexico are welcoming travelers with spread arms. International travel beyond Mexico and territories like Puerto Rico are still more restricted.
Four Day Weekend has a few additional predictions for travel this year based on what we’re seeing and hearing:
1. Longer stays in the first half of the year
Thanks to AirBnB and continued work from home (WFH) mandates, individuals can take advantage of working – and playing! – from anywhere. Families and groups of friends will relocate for weeks and months to warmer weather or ski resorts.
2. Airline prices will gradually increase
If you’re planning on traveling this year, book a ticket now. Prices are still low – we posted recently about flights under $200 – but they likely won’t stay that way for long. As travelers continue to search for and purchase flights, the fares will skyrocket once again.
3. Wellness and adventure will be high priority for vacationers
It’s been a long 10 months. We’ve been stuck at home, attached to our work laptops, cell phones, and Netflix. The consumer is looking for an escape for the brain and body, but also something thrilling.