Travel in 2022 is beginning to surpass pre-pandemic levels. COVID-19 has not disappeared entirely, but it seems that travelers are quite willing to deal with testing requirements and vaccines and to live with the virus.
This year's American Express Travel Global Travel Trends Report suggests that the world is ready for a vacation.
The research looks at the motivations and considerations of travelers in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. It also identifies the emerging trends shaping travel.
Across the board, travelers are willing to spend more in 2022 on travel than in 2021.
Sixty-four percent of respondents agreed that they were spending more on international travel this year, and 72 percent said that they were spending more on domestic travel in 2022 than they had spent in previous years. Sixty-two percent of respondents said that they plan on taking two to four trips in 2022.
Travelers also want to feel like they are getting away. Eighty-one percent indicated that they want to travel to destinations where they can immerse themselves in the local culture.
In addition, travelers want to show support for the places they travel through spending. Eighty-one percent of respondents want the money they spend while traveling to go back to the local community.
This year, 79 percent of respondents agreed that the pandemic taught them that traveling may not always be possible, so they are trying to be more purposeful in how they plan their trips and which companies they book with.
Eighty percent of respondents also agreed that, in 2022, they want to be more thoughtful about the types of trips they take and who they take them with.
Connecting with family is something that travelers are looking forward to. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said that they are most looking forward to traveling with their families in 2022.
According to American Express' research, 76 percent of respondents agreed they plan to travel more with family this year than they did in 2021. Seventy percent of parents indicated that, in 2022, they are planning to take their first international trip with their children since prior to the pandemic.
In line with the realization that travel may not always be available, American Express found that many travelers are looking to book bucket list trips and destinations now.
Fifty-five percent of respondents want to book a once-in-a-lifetime vacation this year; especially Millennials (67 percent) and Gen Z (65 percent).
A little less than half of Millennials are willing to travel solo to visit their "dream destinations."
Travelers have also embraced travel in the pandemic age. Seventy-two percent of respondents said they are willing to embrace some uncertainty in travel to enjoy their ideal vacation in 2022.
Eighty-six percent expect to spend more or the same on travel in 2022 compared to a typical year before the pandemic, and 74 percent said they are willing to book a trip for 2022 even if they might have to cancel or modify it later.
Now that live entertainment, weddings and family reunions are back, travelers are booking more travel aligned with specific events.
Fifty-six percent of respondents stated they held off on traveling for major entertainment events last year but have plans to return to these types of events this year. Fifty-two percent of respondents are interested in traveling for personal gatherings such as weddings, birthdays, graduations or holidays.
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