What are your travel plans for 2021?

A recent study by Vrbo, a home rental agency, suggests we are ready to travel once again

A recent study suggests we are ready to travel once again

Vrbo®, which is a home rental agency, released its annual Trend Report for 2021 that explores our changing travel behaviors. 

I personally wonder how people can make plans for 2021 when we are not sure of where we will be in terms of the current pandemic. I know my son planned to take the family to Hawaii in August, but he finally canceled it in June. 

But read on. See what the Vrbo study says. 

According to their study, eight out of ten families (82%) are already making plans for 2021, and those plans include frequenting areas with fresh water fun, snuggling in cozy cabins, and (finally) taking that bucket list trip. 

The 2021 edition of the report also revealed that some pandemic-era travel habits will stick around, like road trips, visiting the great outdoors, and mixing work and play.

“Let’s face it – the pandemic makes it tough to predict what travel will look like in 2021. That’s why we combined search and demand trends on Vrbo with a first-of-its kind traveler survey of U.S. families,” said Melanie Fish, Vrbo’s travel expert. “The combination of survey and booking data is giving us the most accurate picture possible of the plans families are making for 2021.” 

Top findings from the 2021 Vrbo Trend Report include:

  • Pandemic travel habits will stick around: Local road trips, an affinity for the great outdoors, and taking Flexcations – a longer stay combining work and play – show no signs of slowing down:
    • 59% of families say they are more likely to drive instead of fly on their next trip.
    • 61% of U.S. families said they are more likely to visit an outdoorsy destination than an urban one.
    • 52% of travelers who took a Flexcation this year found the experience refreshing and 67% said they would do it again.
  • Lakes, rivers and streams reign supreme: Vrbo demand data reveals an uptick in destinations near lakes and rivers across the south, midwest and eastern regions of the U.S. Vrbo’s top emerging destinations are all places where families can fish, camp and hike. 

    Among the top three:
    • Emory, Texas – A place between two lakes filled with largemouth bass – also home to a small but wonderful attraction, the A.C. McMillan African American Museum.
    • Slade, Ky. – Home to Red River Gorge, a hot spot for hiking, climbing and water sports – also close to Mammoth Cave National Park, rich with the history and stories of African American cave explorers who helped lay out the hundreds of miles of cave systems that make up the park.
    • Outer Banks, N.C. – A scenic coastal destination with flora and fauna aplenty.
  • Time to go all out: Countless families canceled vacations in 2020, so they are willing to pull out all the stops when travel returns to normal.
    • 65% of travelers plan on traveling more than they did pre-COVID and 33% are willing to spend more than they traditionally would.
    • 54% say they are more likely to take their bucket list trip.

Great stuff to ponder on but what is the reality. As I write this, our COVID-19 numbers are rapidly increasing daily. We are being advised to stay close to home, wear masks and wash our hands frequently. 

I feel day trips are going to be number one when planning some fun away from home. This is a great chance to see what is in our own backyard...one to four hours from home. 

The idea of a Flexcation is an interesting one. But it has its faults. Those who work while on vacation tend to not set limits. And bringing the kids only adds more stress to a packed schedule. 

So if  you are going to rent a house as a home away from home, plan the family schedules before you leave on this new adventure. When is work-time? When is school-time for those schooling remotely? And when is play-time? Preplanning prevents those Flexcation blues from overtaking a happy time away from home. 

Tell us your plans for 2021. Add your comments.