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 will 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.
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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.
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.
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 possible. But, before you pack your bags and head for the airport, there are a 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 plan 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.
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.