Itching to go on a real vacation and end the year-long pandemic stay-cation? The months ahead offer plenty of opportunities to get out and go. Whether you head to an outdoor escape or simply cozy up with loved ones while enjoying beautiful surroundings, vacation is on the minds of many.
What they’re thinking of is what they missed last year, including visits with family members. A new survey shows 44 percent of travelers who had a trip canceled due to COVID-19 are planning to reschedule the same vacation they would have taken in 2020. And 54 percent of respondents who want a redo said they were looking forward to going to that destination, according to the 2021 Vrbo Trend Report. One in three, in fact, said the main reason they want to go on their next trip is to spend quality time with family.
Here are some vacation trends to keep in mind as you plan your next vacation:
Find fresh air
Heading to the great outdoors for adventure has long been a popular form of travel, and that desire will likely reach new heights in 2021. After a year of isolation and uncertainty, many families are seeking the serenity and escape of the wilderness. Three in five families say they are likely to drive instead of fly and that they are likely to visit an outdoorsy destination instead of an urban one.
According to the survey, four of the top five emerging destinations for 2021 are near lakes, rivers or streams where families can camp, hike and fish. Near the top of the list is Albemarle Sound, the gateway to North Carolina’s legendary Outer Banks where bald eagles, peregrine falcons and other storied birds are abundant.
Also making the list in the South is the Red River Gorge in Slade, Kentucky, which is near Mammoth Cave National Park. A much longer drive is the area around Emory, Texas, where Lake Fork offers a top fishing spot for catching largemouth bass, and the area is also home to the A.C. McMillan African American Museum.
Cozy is king
The search for coziness and comfort is nothing new for travelers. The pandemic has only heightened the need for a place to relax and unwind. Many travelers looking for an escape are opting for cabins and chalets, which provide inviting spaces to make family memories while also recharging the proverbial batteries.
Typically nestled near mountainsides, forests and lakes, cabins and chalets offer open spaces so families can leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life while being surrounded by natural beauty, which has led to an increase in demand for cabins by nearly 25 percent. Looking for ideas that are just a few hours away from the Lowcountry? Check out South Carolina’s diverse and verdant state parks. Or head to the other Carolina’s mountains where cold streams bubble as Charleston bakes.
A dream vacation may be on the agenda
After a year of canceled trips, families may have found a new appreciation for travel and have a sense of urgency to finally take that dream vacation. When travel eventually returns to pre-COVID-19 levels, many are thinking big – 65 percent of survey respondents said they planned to travel more than they did prior to the pandemic. A third said they were willing to spend more money than they traditionally would and 54 percent said they are more likely to book that bucket list vacation.
Among those willing to increase their vacation budgets, 46 percent said they planned to travel farther away, 55 percent said they’ll stay longer and 48 percent said they have nicer accommodations in mind.