During the pandemic, we read a lot of articles predicting what travel would look like post-COVID. And to date – many of those predictions have come to fruition. Things such as travelers wanting to know what the hotel, airline, ship, etc. have come up with as far as policies to keep them safe and healthy; the evolution of the buffet – not gone altogether but rather manned by staff ready to scoop those sausage links and grits onto your plate; the mask mandate lasting longer than people would have assumed – especially on public transportation – i.e. – planes, trains and automobiles (the latter as in shared-ride services and taxis) and wellness travel becoming even more popular than it was shaping up to be pre-March 2020.
Over the course of all those months, as we kept in touch with our travel advisor friends, one new travel trend, in particular, was brought up quite a bit as a type of travel that many said would blossom. And that was the luxury travel trend. And – as if they had a crystal ball – that is exactly what those travel advisors are reporting back to us now. Luxury travel is more sought after than prior to lockdown. One huge indicator? Virtuoso Travel Week – which Beyond Times Square attended just last month – was filled with travel advisors all echoing the same feedback – luxury travel is the way to go in 2021.
And – as you may have already surmised – the goal of this week’s BTSQ blog entry is to help you navigate the booking and planning of your luxury vacation and to give you insight on what luxury travel trends are – well – trending. Our hope is that sharing our exclusive insider knowledge will assist you in planning a fabulous – and – luxurious trip. So, pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable and join me while we dissect this in-demand type of travel experience.
Travelers Want To Travel
I know that sounds redundant. Or silly. Or even obvious. But even the most hard-core world travelers toned it down a bit during the pandemic. True – they were forced to in many cases – but many also chose too – even when they had options for say, domestic getaways. But now it’s game on – even with that pesky Delta variant rearing its ugly head. Yes – there may be a drop in the number of bookings travel advisors are seeing – but not a complete standstill by any means. In fact, many surveys are showing that Americans are still planning on traveling this fall and winter – even if perhaps they are doing so closer to home. According to a recent weekly survey by Destination Analysts, more than half of travelers expect to take at least one overnight trip in the next three months and the majority of US travelers support indoor masking requirements, as well as vaccine mandates for certain indoor activities. And perhaps most importantly, Americans remain committed to travel, with 80% reporting trip plans in the near future.
Travelers Want Private And / Or Outdoor Tours
These luxury travel trends should come as no surprise. Private tours equal fewer participants which means less crowding which means less of a chance of spreading germs. Outdoor tours equal fresh air, freedom from masks and the desire to spend as much time as possible outside thanks to an abundance of mandatory time at home in the not-so-distant past. Another benefit of private and outdoor tours? They are no doubt the safest – and – easiest types of activities to execute in this era of indoor regulations often shifting from one month to the next. Other things that make them desirable? Well, there’s the fact that many have been waiting a very long time for their dream vacation or bucket list experiences – and private tours can be personalized to make them worth the wait. And then there’s the toll COVID took on our mental health – with outdoor tours you’re getting a more active experience – and by now we all know that exercise is huge for our mental well-being – and our physical health as well. It’s no wonder private jets, villas, yachts and luxury RV’s have seen an uptick in popularity. People want to travel safe and within their bubbles – i.e. – with just a few close family members and friends. And pssst – nobody does private tours better than Beyond Times Square!
Travelers Are Booking Travel Closer to Departure
Or in travel speak – shorter booking windows or last-minute getaways. What’s behind this luxury travel trend? Again – with the uncertainty of travel policies, protocols and restrictions it just makes sense that people would be waiting until they feel relatively sure that the plans they make will stick. So very many have gone through the disappointment – and frustration – of having their trips canceled during the past year and a half that they’ve been waiting until as close to the departure date as they can to confirm their booking and hand over their credit card. Another trend courtesy of COVID? Booking more than one trip in the same time frame to different destinations. The thought process behind this? Should one destination spike in cases and make travel there unsafe or entirely not possible – you have a backup plan. And thanks to the travel mess that was 2020 – hotels, airlines and other travel components have introduced much more flexible cancellation policies meaning that you won’t lose any money on the one you end up canceling. Of course, the caveat is to make sure you know the cancel or postponement policies of each segment BEFORE you book them.
Travelers Are Taking Longer Vacations And Different Types Of Them
Use it or lose it. Work hard, play hard. If you got it flaunt it. Ok maybe the last one doesn’t quite fit in. But the point I am trying to make here is that there was oodles and oodles of vacation time that went unused due to the fact that we couldn’t umm…vacation. Not to mention a surplus of money that typically would have been spent on things like going out to eat or going to sporting events or travel. Both of these factor into why you are seeing people take longer trips than they may have in past years. Well – that and the feeling of freedom that came once they were actually allowed out and about and that made them none too anxious to return back home! As for the types of vacations we are seeing? Well bucket list trips are right up there – most likely due to the fact that people panicked at the thought of not getting that trip in before – well, you know… Then there are wellness trips – which we touched upon in the beginning as an expected outcome of the effects this whole thing had on our mental health. And of course, there were plenty of staycations during the pandemic – most not by choice. But now as we are crawling slowly out of it, it seems some of the population is still a bit wary of venturing too far away – for whatever the reason and are opting instead to be tourists in their own neck of the woods. And finally, there’s what are termed workcations – which means exactly what you think it means – mixing work and vacation. Which by the way has been made easier than ever thanks to offerings from hotels that include free wi-fi and the use of their business center. And who wouldn’t want to work from an exciting new destination that you can explore after hours and on weekends?
And with that, your luxury travel trends tutorial of sorts has come to an end. Ready to book some luxury travel experiences now? Of course you are. And you know the expert team of luxury travel specialists at Beyond Time Square are more than happy to assist. Whether you are looking for New York City, Boston, Washington DC, Upstate New York including the Finger Lakes and Niagara Falls, the New England states or Philadelphia – they can do it all and rest assured they do it superbly. Give them a call today and let them curate the perfect luxury getaway for you!
Watch the Webinar: Latest Luxury Travel Trends & Best-Selling Excursions