packed suitcases ready for revenge travel
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Revenge travel – how we’ll travel after the pandemic

You might have heard the term “revenge travel” pop up lately as many are planning their post-pandemic travel with a vengeance. The pandemic hasn’t dampened our taste for travel, and many can’t wait to go back and explore the world when it’s ready for them. ⁠

Based on travel trends for 2021 and beyond, travel is going to come back. The trends predict that we’ll be focusing on slow travel, emphasizing wellness, establishing deeper connections and sustainability, to name a few. Our pent-up demand for travel has definitely left us thirsty to get out there.  

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What is revenge travel?

Revenge travel is a term coined by travel industry insiders. It is based on the concept of treating ourselves with trips and making up for the lost time during the lockdowns. Instead of short and fast getaways, people are planning their dream vacations, bucket list destinations, and out-of-the-box adventures they plan on taking sooner rather than later.

As people have been stuck inside for over a year, trips were cancelled and many special occasions missed. Not seeing friends and family has made us miserable and lonely. The governments told people not to travel, and many countries shut their borders to outsiders. Air travel reduced drastically, and hotel bookings plummeted.

That didn’t stop us from dreaming about travel. Forced lockdowns made us appreciate travel even more. And it’s not just the frequent travellers who feel this way. Many people who have put off travel or visiting certain destinations are moving up their plans and planning those trips. That is totally relatable.

Missing travel? You might like How to recreate travel at home!

Why is revenge travel such a big deal?

Singlehandedly, 2020 showed us that things could change in a blink of an eye. Best-laid plans and vacations can fall apart, and the ability to go anywhere we want can be taken away from us just like that. But just because we couldn’t travel, it didn’t mean we weren’t planning for future vacations. Cancellations left many with flight and accommodation credits, unused frequent-flyer points and vacation days. Travellers are ready to use them up and travel.

It’s not just consumers that are itching to explore. Many in the tourism industry are also eagerly awaiting for travel to resume.  Countries that relied on tourism saw their revenues plummet and many businesses were forced to shut their doors. Now they hope tourists, thirsty for travel, will bring their spending dollars and help their destinations recover.

greek flag over the ocean
Revenge travel? Yes, please!

The idea of revenge travel is closely tied in with the revenge spending trend of the 1980s in China. It refers to the boom in consumer spending after changes in the government led to the country’s easing of rules and restrictions. So, in theory, it’s easy to assume that future travel will follow a similar trend – making up for the lost time and giving consumers back their power to travel.  

Will revenge travel save the tourism industry?

While revenge travel has the potential to rebound the tourism industry, it isn’t an immediate solution. The pandemic hasn’t been difficult just for those in tourism. Many are facing job insecurities, unemployment and financial instability. Then there are also potential health risks that can impact people’s ability to travel.

While vaccines are being rolled out across the world, the cases of Covid-19 are still rising. Meanwhile, not all countries have the same access to vaccines and inoculating their populations. This presents potential challenges for the movement of travellers in and out of those destinations. As countries limit who can enter their borders, eager international travellers might find themselves unable to enter their desired vacation spots.

Staycation couple
Staycations are here to stay

Staycations will remain on the rise as many might be unable to travel internationally or will prefer to stay in their home countries. This gives destinations and tour companies an opportunity to target local visitors and create excitement around domestic travel.

What to know before you (finally, maybe) travel

By now, you’ve probably planned your dream destination, looked at accommodations and planned out how long you plan on visiting. As an eager traveller, you might want to book the first available flight and get the hell out of dodge for as long as you can. But, before you pack your bags and head for the airport, there are few things to consider.

First, are you even allowed to go there? While you might be ready to go, the destination might not be ready for you. Always check the rules and regulations of where you are planning to go ahead of time. Find out what the requirements are once you get there. If you must quarantine upon arrival, make sure to factor in the time and any related costs. Consider the same when you return.

tea hills in Sri Lanka
Exploring the world

If you plan on booking transportation and accommodations ahead of time, make sure that you can cancel/change without penalties before you pay. While things are looking up, by now, you know that they can go downhill fast. If you’re using travel points/credits/vouchers, make sure to check any restrictions, expiry dates or penalties.  Paying attention to the small print can save you time and money in the future.

I am a huge advocate of travel insurance, so I always advise people to get coverage before they go. Ensure it covers you if something happens and that there is no restriction for travel that can void your coverage.

It’s easy to assume that it will be smooth sailing once you arrive. However, keep in mind that not all countries have dealt with the pandemic in the same way. There might be more or fewer restrictions than you are used to, so make sure you understand their rules and follow them accordingly.    

Revenge travel, in conclusion

The pandemic might have single-handedly changed travel, but it hasn’t diminished our taste for visiting new places. And after spending months in the same place, we are all ready for a change in scenery, new experiences and being around other people.  Revenge travel might be a small act of defiance, but it’s also an opportunity to reassess our plans.

Staying put has been a challenge for avid travellers, but it has also awakened the desire to explore the world in those that have been putting it off. Whether you’re planning on exploring parts of your own country or taking off to foreign lands, dust off that passport, take out your suitcase and start planning. ⁠Are you ready for revenge travel? The tourism industry sure hopes so.

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    Kemi
    13 Mar 2021
    7:41pm

    I’m definitely up for more staycations! Hopefully I can squeeze in an island getaway this year, depending on how the world goes.

      kasiawrites
      13 Mar 2021
      8:21pm

      Oh me too! I am in need of some sun and ocean therapy!

    Carina | bucketlist2life
    16 Mar 2021
    12:26pm

    Revenge travel sounds so vicious but after reading the description it makes a lot of sense! And it’s basically what I plan to do ASAP…

      kasiawrites
      16 Mar 2021
      12:29pm

      It’s one of those things that can mean a totally different thing! I am so ready to revenge travel ASAP 🙌🏼

    Jane Frith
    16 Mar 2021
    12:41pm

    Our plans this year mainly involve staycations, which we aim to do with a vengeance! However, we are crossing our fingers that we can get away to the US at some point in order to rescue our poor RV which has been in storage for a whole year!

      kasiawrites
      16 Mar 2021
      12:57pm

      I think staycations will be our only options for some time too! Hopefully your RV is ok and waiting for you 🙂

    Katie
    16 Mar 2021
    1:05pm

    Totally agree! We are ready to travel “with a vengeance” but also know it’s not going to happen next month or even next year…enjoying some local hikes, camping, & shorter road trips at the moment.

      kasiawrites
      16 Mar 2021
      1:55pm

      I think local travel totally qualifies for revenge travel! Especially until international borders reopen for all! We’re looking at local attractions for the near future too 🙂

    kmf
    16 Mar 2021
    1:30pm

    I had not heard of the term revenge travel, but can completely understand that it is a thing. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I’m definitely leaning toward slow travel and staycations for a bit yet.

      kasiawrites
      16 Mar 2021
      1:56pm

      I’ve only become aware of it not too long ago. 🙂 I’m curious to see how it will play out too. It makes me miss travel so much, sigh.

    Jennifer Nilsson
    16 Mar 2021
    2:25pm

    I am so ready! I will take my revenge all across the world! BUT…I do think the pandemic has changed the way that I will travel in the future. I’m so much more conscious of how my travel can impact the destinations I visit in positive AND negative ways. I’m going to look to give back to the communities that I visit just as much as I will look to experience the culture. Thanks for this post!

      kasiawrites
      16 Mar 2021
      5:41pm

      You’re welcome! I totally agree with you – I think many people will be looking at travel differently in the future. I hope we all become more responsible travellers. Let’s hope it happens soon!

    Peggy
    16 Mar 2021
    4:14pm

    Fantastic piece…the past year has been a tough one for travelers and I think you’ve hit home with that feeling! Staycations are fabulous but we can’t wait to get back across oceans & borders!

      kasiawrites
      16 Mar 2021
      5:43pm

      Agreed! As much as I love exploring my own backyard, I miss the international aspect of travel. Hopefully, we can get to travelling soon!

    Chalk and cheese travels
    16 Mar 2021
    4:20pm

    You had me intrigued at the term revenge travel. And I’ll certainly be partaking in revenge travel to its full extent post lockdown

      kasiawrites
      16 Mar 2021
      5:44pm

      It definitely is one of those terms that gets you thinking. I can’t wait to start travelling again!

    Jenny
    16 Mar 2021
    4:47pm

    I haven’t heard this time, but I can totally relate! This pandemic has shown us that we never know when the opportunity to travel will be taken away. Many good points in this article, a great read!

      kasiawrites
      16 Mar 2021
      5:45pm

      Thanks, Jenny! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was definitely intrigued when I came across the term, so I thought it would be a good topic to write about. Many people out there are itching to travel!

    Vanessa Shields
    16 Mar 2021
    7:03pm

    I haven’t heard of this term yet but yes I can’t wait to travel again! Been way too long in the planning and dreaming stage. At first I thought you meant taking an epic trip after a break up or in my case a divorce. Lol

      kasiawrites
      17 Mar 2021
      12:39pm

      It’s funny how a word can have so many different interpretations! I’m with you – I am ready to move past the planning stage as well. I didn’t realize how much I love travelling until I couldn’t travel. Sigh.

    Henry Lee
    16 Mar 2021
    7:49pm

    The title was the eye-grab! I think many would subscribe to the concept. While revenge is defined as “a desire to repay an injury or wrong,” it’s a way to strike back psychologically against the pandemic with the physical act of travel. Hope we’ll all be able to go back out safely into the world to continue the learning process.

      kasiawrites
      17 Mar 2021
      12:41pm

      It definitely is one of those concepts that are familiar to many yet the term that describes it isn’t. 🙂 I do hope we will get to travelling soon and heal from the pandemic.

    Sue
    16 Mar 2021
    8:46pm

    I’m so ready for some revenge travel! Going to keep in within the US for now but definitely planning on going overseas in 2022. My bucket list was already long and it got even longer this past year.

      kasiawrites
      17 Mar 2021
      12:42pm

      Me too! It might be a while still till I can travel internationally, but there is so much of home to explore! Hope you get to check some items off your list soon 🤞🏻

    Smalltownplussize Tom
    16 Mar 2021
    10:56pm

    I think we are all ready for revenge travel. I know we are ready to get out there again when it’s safe.

      kasiawrites
      17 Mar 2021
      12:43pm

      So ready! I’ve been planning like crazy 🙂

    Becky Exploring
    17 Mar 2021
    5:02am

    I hadn’t heard the term revenge travel but it makes sense to me. Great tips take into consideration when starting to plan and book travel again. The part about not everywhere handling the pandemic the same really hits home. Since I live in HK, my experience has been so different from friends and family back in the US.

      kasiawrites
      17 Mar 2021
      12:45pm

      I totally believe that! I’m keeping track of how different places are handling travel. They are all very different which makes planning a bit challenging at this point.

    Bernie and Jess Watt
    17 Mar 2021
    7:49am

    It’s a funny term – it sounds negative but I know what you mean. I think that many people will be like a coiled spring just ready to hit go. This could be a very intensive period of travel. People will go to the opening of a fridge. They’ll pay a premium for music festivals. Anyone with the vaccine will think they have a golden ticket. It will be interesting how it all plays out.

      kasiawrites
      17 Mar 2021
      12:46pm

      Oooh, I do like the comparison to a coiled spring! I think it’s still such an unknown, no matter how we plan. I just can’t wait to get out there.

    The Travel Architect
    17 Mar 2021
    8:30pm

    Interesting term, but it fits the way I’ve been feeling. I want to make up for lost time/lost trips/lost travel. There’s kind of this urgency about it, like, how many trips can I fit in this summer? Thanks for the read.

      kasiawrites
      18 Mar 2021
      11:32am

      You’re welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I am totally ready to travel too and can’t wait to get out there.

    John Quinn
    18 Mar 2021
    8:57pm

    Yeah I’m ready for it. No COVID is going to hold me back forever. I’ve been doing exactly as you say, putting together that bucket list that I want to scratch off. Great idea for a blog Kasia.

      kasiawrites
      18 Mar 2021
      11:04pm

      Thank you, John! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I will have to start writing about my dream destinations soon since I can’t visit them!

    Vinn
    19 Mar 2021
    4:16am

    Count me in! We are kinda “drooling” on the cruise offers and routes. But for the meantime we are looking into the situation till it is safer to do so.

      kasiawrites
      19 Mar 2021
      11:29am

      Yes, I am here for the deals! Hopefully, there will be even more great ones 🤞🏻

    Lisa
    19 Mar 2021
    2:07pm

    I’m so ready to take my revenge on travel Kasia! This is a great perspective and you bring up some good points. We’re still on lockdown in Italy, and the vaccine rollout in Europe is very slow. But in my head I’m ready to go!

      kasiawrites
      19 Mar 2021
      3:00pm

      Thanks, Lisa! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I am also ready to travel and itching to get out there. Hopefully we can all get vaccinated and revenge travel soon 🤞🏻

    Anda Bartos
    20 Mar 2021
    3:43am

    I’ve been hearing about revenge traveling lately and I’m so ready for it! I plan to travel deeper and explore slowly but I’m also ready for a quick getaway closer to home.

      kasiawrites
      20 Mar 2021
      2:00pm

      I think we all are ready! Let’s hope we can do it soon 🤞🏻

    Ruth Moore
    19 Apr 2021
    11:20am

    Most definitely, staycations are at the top of our list in the short term – the local and wider economy needs support and it is important to us that we contribute to the tourist industry locally. But we still have plans for international travel when the time is right.

      kasiawrites
      20 Apr 2021
      5:01pm

      That seems to be the motivation for many! Hopefully, travel will resume for many soon!