Topic – Spring Break 2021 and COVID
What are the trends
Spring Break 2021 and COVID will cause our travel plans for the early spring months to look and feel a little different. Travelers are ready to get back out and about, and as more people are vaccinated travel trends will show an increase in the number of people choosing to take a trip soon. During the pandemic the most vulnerable, those 65 and older, have been sheltering in place away from family and friends. There is a huge desire to plan visits to see grandchildren, good friends and close family members. All people they have not seen or spent time with in over a year.
We took a look at some of the COVID travel trends moving towards more people to say “yes” to taking that long awaited trip.
Close vs. distant locations
- While some people are looking at the many deals available, most people are still considering trips close to home, easy to get to by car, and limited contact with others.
- The concern for fewer people and less populated areas is still the trend.
- The fear and concern for being stuck in a faraway destination with a 14-day quarantine will keep most travelers planning to visit destinations closer to home.
- International travel for spring Break doesn’t appear to be gaining much popularity.
- Road trips are still the popular mode of travel. For Spring Break week, travelers may venture out a little further from home than they would on a long weekend. They are looking for open-air activities and fewer populated options. Camping, hiking, and low population opportunities are still top of the list.
- For spring break – crowded beaches are out, and the bubble is still the trend.
Hotels are trending
- Hotels stays are trending upward, which is good news for hotels that have been hit hard during the pandemic.
- Hotels have made adjustments to ensure people feel secure by adopting contactless technologies. Options to check in before arrival at the hotel are becoming the norm.
- Guests can now check-in & out without visiting a front desk.
- As noted in almost all public places, social distancing practices are being implemented – with plexiglass screens in areas where guests will interact with hotel staff are an example.
- Booking fully refundable trips mean less anxiety and could also be the uptick in booking with larger hotel chains.
- Vacation rentals continue to trend high – even as hotels become more of a choice in where to stay. Vacation rentals continue to provide more confidence in travelers feeling less exposed to large groups of people or interacting with staff.
- Travelers feel once they arrive together, they can enjoy each other’s company and not have to worry about the need to be out and about among larger groups of people. They can plan meals and activities in or near the home.
Longer stays in one place
- For spring break, families are feeling safer traveling together. As family members 65 and older receive their vaccinations, more trips will be planned, where the whole family can be together again; in many cases for the first time in months.
- Longer stays in one place means less travel to and from, less exposure to more people, and less time traveling and more time together.
Baby Boomer’s trending as travelers
- As people 65 and older are receiving their second shots, there is more activity with this age group, searching online travel sites and booking trips.
- Trends show that this age group feels much more secure with taking a trip to visit family and having family come to see them.
- More family gatherings and celebrations are trending too. Younger family members feel less anxiety about their older family members’ health and safety and exposing them to the virus.
- The coming months’ trends show that you will see more people 65 and older flying and taking trips further away from home. The trend does place the spring break months, late March into April and May, as popular travel months. That’s when the uptick will happen as more people in the group phase 1A get vaccinated.
Vaccines and mandates
- While reports show some states struggling with balancing the demand and supply, people are looking for their opportunity to get the vaccine. Mandates to continue wearing masks, social distancing, and sanitizing continue even with people who are vaccinated.
- Slowly, friends and groups, 65 and older, are starting to book travel together.
- The latest vaccine by Johnson and Johnson will allow more people to become vaccinated and people 45 – 60 will also feel more secure to travel again.
- Travelers should continue to do their research on places they plan to travel. International destinations may not be open; some destinations continue to have quarantine requirements, in many places COVID testing before leaving continues to be required, and you must have a negative test. In some destinations, you will receive a test when you arrive.
- The requirements and mandates change. As you’re planning a trip, the mandates and conditions may change before you leave. It’s essential to continue to check during the days leading up to your departure.
- The central note about the vaccine and travel is that people feel safer and more confident in their journey, especially the everyday outings that previously held anxiety and concern for exposure.
- Assessing risk and staying diligent remains essential.
- Travel insurance is paramount. It always has been an essential part of any trip you’re taking that’s 150 miles are more. During the pandemic, as individual family members, health status could change or cancel a trip for the whole family, having travel insurance to cover unforeseen events is very important. And, including medical insurance is vital in case of illness that may occur while you travel.
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