By SWNS Staff
Three in four Americans plan on taking the trip of a lifetime the second they can safely travel again, according to new research.
Given all the stress of the pandemic, it’s no surprise 64% of Americans agreed they’re in desperate need of a vacation once they feel comfortable traveling again, especially since 26% haven’t taken a vacation in more than 13 months.
The survey polled 2,000 nationally representative Americans to analyze the impact COVID-19 had on their travel habits, gauge how they’re feeling about travel now that vaccines are becoming more widely available and determine their most coveted destinations.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Hilton, the survey found 59% of respondents are planning to check sight-seeing wonders off their wish lists as they begin planning their first trips post-pandemic, including the Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower and Niagara Falls.
Other top destinations included the Statue of Liberty, the Colosseum in Rome and the Las Vegas Strip.
Respondents were also asked which countries are on their travel wish list, and Italy was crowned as the top destination. Rounding out the top five was the United Kingdom, Australia, France and Canada.
While many Americans are dreaming of international wish list trips, 57% of those surveyed said they’d be more comfortable with traveling within the U.S. for their first post-pandemic vacation. The top U.S. cities Americans plan to visit include Honolulu, New York City and Las Vegas.
It’s no wonder these top U.S. and international destinations are on Americans’ minds: 49% of respondents said they used the pandemic as an opportunity to save up more money for a dream vacation they have always had on their wish list.
The survey also found over half of respondents (55%) said they plan to spend more money than they normally would on their next trip, since they haven't traveled in a while – an average of $2,173.11 to be exact.
“The results show both international and domestic destinations are at the top of Americans’ wish lists for their next vacation,” said Jenna Hackett, Global Head for Curio Collection by Hilton. “It’s no surprise 30% strongly agreed they will book their dream vacation that they normally wouldn’t have considered – our guests are looking for those authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences, especially after more than a year without making travel memories.”
Once Americans are on their vacations, the majority of respondents (59%) plan on making up for lost time by staying at their destination longer (60%) and traveling further (46%).
Two in five of these respondents plan to visit family they haven’t seen during the pandemic and 27% plan to travel with friends and family. In fact, 38% of respondents said spending quality time with friends and family is one of the top things they miss about traveling.
Regardless of destination, safety is still the chief concern when it comes to traveling this summer, as the top two priorities when it comes to booking their next vacation is being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (48%) and ensuring their hotel has COVID-19 cleaning protocols and safety measures in place (35%).
As travelers’ options begin to open up around the world, nearly 30% said their next priorities would be booking an all-inclusive vacation package and being within walking distance to attractions.
“We’ve found that travelers today are looking to dive into the local scene more and more even during these dream vacations,” said Phil Cordell, Global Head, Canopy by Hilton. “While they are looking for those once-in-a-lifetime moments, they also want to immerse themselves in the culture of their destination, as evidenced by 29% of those surveyed wanting access to explore the nearby area and city and almost one in 5 wanting to feel like a local.”
AMERICANS’ TOP 10 WISH LIST DESTINATIONS
- The Grand Canyon in Arizona (26%)
- The Eiffel Tower in France (24%)
- Niagara Falls (22%)
- The Statue of Liberty in New York City (21%)
- The Colosseum in Rome (21%)
- The Northern Lights in Iceland (20%)
- The Las Vegas Strip (20%)
- The Great Barrier Reef in Australia (20%)
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy (19%)
- The Acropolis, Greece (17%)