Summer 2021 Travel Trends

Summer 2021 could be an exciting year for travel, with the post-COVID recovery happening.

Miami Beach. UNSPLASH Denys Kostyuchenko

Many countries have announced they are opening up to international travelers once again, and people are also likely to travel more domestically here in the U.S. following a year of spending a lot of time at home.

If you’re thinking about planning a trip this summer, the following are some trends you might notice.

More Technology At Hotels

A lot of accommodations may be doing things differently this year. For example, over the past year, they might have taken advantage of new hotel property management systems which provide self-service options for guests.

This can make things like checking in and replacing lost keys more convenient, and if you don’t want to interact with people who work at the hotel, you don’t have to.

This also frees up employees to be able to spend time solving problems for guests and making their experience better rather than doing primarily the administrative work of checking them in and out.

Longer Trips

A lot of people are working remotely still, and that means that they may be able to take longer trips. For example, you might notice instead of taking a week, travelers are going to destinations for two weeks or even a month.

Luxury Trips

Last summer wasn’t one where many people traveled, and even if they did,  they might have stayed close to home or done something like a road trip that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Now, with some people looking to catch up on experiences, they’re probably going to be more willing to splurge this summer on high-end luxury trips. They want something memorable and something that’s been on their bucket list after a year of social distancing and sacrificing.

Flexible Booking is Still Critical

While we have come a long way since last year as far as getting the pandemic under control and vaccinating people, there is still a lot of uncertainty. Before last year, many travelers probably didn’t care whether they had travel insurance or their plans were flexible.

Now, since things can quite literally change by the minute, including guidelines and restrictions, flexibility remains a top priority. Getting travel insurance is also incredibly popular, whereas before COVID it wasn’t always that important.

If travelers are deciding between something that’s flexible and something that’s not, they’re probably going to go with the flexible option, even if it costs more.

Jumping In Head-First to Plans

If you were previously someone who liked to take a year or more to plan a trip, you might have a different way of thinking now. A lot of travelers are seizing the moment, with the understanding that they might not have a chance to go to their dream destinations for a long time.

People spent the past year dreaming of all the things they wanted to do, and now that time is here for many.

There’s a lot of last-minute planning as well, but that is leading to an uptick in prices across the board.

Some Families Are Still Focusing on National Parks and Road Trips

Last summer, for a lot of people who did travel, they took the car instead of planes, and National Parks were an incredibly popular destination option.

For families with younger kids, that trend may hold into this summer because kids aren’t eligible for COVID vaccines, and their parents may want to hold onto distancing just a bit longer.

Could Travel Agents Become Popular Again?

A potentially interesting trend that could come out of the COVID-19 pandemic as far as travel goes is that people are using agents and advisors to help them with trip planning.

This has become increasingly important because people have a hard time wading through all the information to figure out what restrictions are, how they should get tested if necessary, and what they need to have onhand to get into various locations.

A lot of people also want to know what to expect when they’re at their destination as far as masks, distancing, and other protocols.

You Might Not Be Able to Get Reservations

Finally, for some of the most in-demand travel destinations, if you haven’t already booked it, you might not be able to.

For example, Florida is booked across the board. Going to Miami is going to mean that you have slim options in terms of where to stay. The same is true of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Hawaii is also seeking big demand that means you might have limited options this summer.

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