New Research Reveals Trends in US Travelers’ Behavior for 2021

Travel search engine Skyscanner today released a new report entitled ‘The New World of Travel’, in which it explores the most important travel trends to emerge amid the pandemic. Its data and extensive consumer research revealed some expected behaviors to be seen among U.S. travelers once they begin to venture out internationally again.

Findings showed that U.S. residents are eager to travel again, and their travel-related online searches and intent levels proved to be among the most substantial in comparison to the other major countries Skyscanner analyzed.

For instance, during the month of August 2020, U.S. consumer searches for international travel were down by just six percent from the monthly average seen in 2019—proof of Americans’ pent-up wanderlust as they await the day that it’s safe to venture outside the States.

Meanwhile, the number of domestic travel searches conducted in August 2020 was actually six percent higher than the 2019 monthly average, as Americans whose trips had been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic or whose dreams of vacationing abroad were dashed turned their attention to an exploration of their own country.

Skyscanner found that 44 percent of U.S. travelers now believe it safe to travel domestically and are evidently acting on those beliefs, given that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened almost one million passengers each day during the recent Labor Day weekend.

“Travel for most Americans has been largely confined to domestic for the last few months, with all but essential international travel canceled or postponed,” said Crossey. “However, what has been amazing to see is the adaptability and resilience shown by American travelers…those who had their hearts set on going abroad over summer simply adapted their mindset and have been adventuring a little closer to home this year.”

He added, “Of course, they are still dreaming of international travel, we see that very clearly in our data and hear it every day when we speak to our travelers.” Skyscanner’s information also revealed the top ten destinations that Americans are hoping to visit during Summer 2021. Ranked first to last, they are: London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Rome, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Athens, Papeete, Barcelona.

U.S. travelers’ flexible attitudes are expected to continue well into 2021 as conditions surrounding the pandemic evolve. Skyscanner found that 11 percent of Americans were departing for their trips within a week of booking and predicts that this tendency to travel within tighter timeframes will continue well into the coming year; especially given major airlines’ current change-fee waivers and flexible booking policies.

As for which types of travelers will be the first to begin booking international trips, the data indicated that male travelers are somewhat more likely (59 percent) to book than their female counterparts, and that travelers with children (56 percent) are more likely to book than those without.

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