Is “revenge travel” the new way to vacation?
A survey of 2,000 Americans who have traveled internationally in the last 14 months revealed 66% have a desire to “revenge travel” — defined as wanting to travel more, after feeling like they missed out on time and experiences due to the pandemic.
And respondents are making the most of the return to travel; as many travel restrictions have lifted, 57% of Americans surveyed were able to take a “once-in-a-lifetime” adventure in 2022.
For those who did, this included seeing something or someone who won’t be there in 10 years (22%), using a travel agent to take the stress out of traveling (21%) and traveling to where their family is originally from (21%).
But whether it was a “once-in-a-lifetime” adventure or not, the survey found that Americans were generally positive about any travel experience in the past 14 months.
They have the same sentiment toward future travels, too: after the pause on international travel, 80% said they need a vacation in 2023 more than ever before.
Commissioned by Exodus Travels and conducted by OnePoll, results revealed that 77% have felt more like themselves, as a result of their recent travels.
And 80% said that returning to travel in the past 14 months has been good for their soul and for their well-being.
That doesn’t mean their trip was perfect: changing COVID-19 restrictions forced some respondents to reschedule (37%), while others dealt with lost luggage (35%) or delayed and canceled flights (31%).
However, the good news is that even of those who faced issues while traveling, 84% said their trip was still completely worth it — and 85% said that, despite any difficulties, they’d happily do it all over again if given the chance.
“To travel and discover, to explore new places, meet new people, encounter different cultures and experience nature’s wild beauty is in our DNA,” said Andy Crang, Exodus Travels Marketing Director. “Television, movies, social media, books … these were all great substitutes while travel was on pause, but for many of us getting out in the world and setting out on new adventures is an intrinsic part of who we are.
“So, despite some of the challenges that this post-pandemic return to travel has thrown at us — the flight delays and cancellations, lost luggage, long line-ups, etc. — the results of this poll tell us that the joy of 2022 and 2023 travel and the happiness it brings with it far outweighs any hiccups we encounter along the way.”
Not only are American adventurers reflecting fondly on their past trips, but many are already thinking about the future. The majority of respondents already have another international trip (71%) and a domestic trip (65%) planned for the coming years.
And 77% of Americans surveyed would recommend that others start traveling again, too.
Respondents were asked what advice they’d share with others, who are planning trips. The top piece of advice? Book now, to take advantage of many airlines offering no fees for canceling or changing flights (58%).
That was followed by advice to travel with a tour operator or a travel agent so they can help if something unexpected happens (57%) and spending extra money if needed, in order to fly on an airline without change fees (56%).
“It has always been the case but now it’s just more evident and relevant than ever — booking your trip with a tour operator or travel agent is the best and easiest way to ensure a seamless travel experience,” said Crang. “If there are delays or cancellations, if something gets rescheduled, you’ll have an expert support person to turn to for answers and advice, someone who will work on your behalf to get things back on track.”
WHAT MADE IT A “ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME” ADVENTURE?
Saw something/someone who won’t be there in 10 years (ex. a changing landscape, an older relative, etc.) — 22%
Used a travel agent, which took the stress out of traveling — 21%
Traveled to where my family is originally from — 21%
It was a longer trip than I would normally take — 20%
Saw something I’ve always wanted to (ex. the Northern Lights) — 20%
Got engaged while traveling or went on my honeymoon — 20%
Used a tour operator, which took the stress out of traveling — 19%
Met a new friend/started a new relationship — 19%
Traveled to a new continent — 19%
Traveled internationally for the first time — 18%
WHAT ADVICE WOULD RESPONDENTS SHARE, AS PEOPLE PLAN TRIPS?
Book now, to take advantage of many airlines offering no fees for canceling or changing flights — 58%
Traveling through a tour operator or a travel agent so they can help if something unexpected happens — 57%
It’s worth the extra money to fly on an airline without change fees, in case of changing COVID-19 cases — 56%
Always have a book or activity for the airport, in case of delays — 49%
Try to travel with just a carry-on — 37%