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After a whirlwind couple of years for the travel industry, vacations and bucket list destinations are back on many people’s radar for 2022. Travel came to a complete standstill in 2020, and this year, it resumed, paused again, pivoted, and now things are on the up again. But just how will Americans travel in the year ahead?
Vrbo has released its annual travel Trend Report, and this year, the findings give a glimpse into where families are headed, the types of vacation homes they love staying in, and how their outlook on vacations, travel planning, and time away together has been influenced by the effects of a global pandemic.
Based on vacation rental demand data from Vrbo’s global marketplace for the 12-month period ending August 31, 2021, as well as a consumer survey that was fielded to 1,000 U.S. families, here are the key findings from Vrbo’s 2022 Trend Report:
Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Alaska all saw a huge spike in demand throughout 2021, with searches for vacation rentals doubling. Topping the list is Cincinnati, with a 125% increase in demand:
Parents are more likely to reward their kids on their 2022 vacations, the report says. After an irregular two years, kids will have a bigger say in vacation planning, with half of the families saying they’re more likely to let their kids decide where they vacation, compared to pre-pandemic times. One in three parents will allow their child to invite a friend on their trip, while 43% of parents are more likely to let their kids skip school for vacation.
More families will opt to take their pets
With an increase in pet ownership across the pandemic, more families are opting to bring their four-legged friends on vacation. This year, 70% of survey respondents were pet owners, 68% of whom have traveled, plan to travel, or would like to travel with their pets. Additionally, Vrbo has seen a 40% increase in searches for pet-friendly vacation rentals.
According to the results, peak booking activity occurred 2-3 months earlier than usual for virtually every major travel season, while 60% of survey respondents said they’re going to plan ahead, securing future vacations earlier than they did in pre-pandemic times.
A shift in work-life balance
The pandemic has led to a change in how people view their own free time. 77% of families agreed that they have a greater appreciation for separating their professional and personal lives, while 59% of respondents said they are more likely to take a two-week vacation. With a newfound appreciation for a digital detox, 42% are less likely to check work email on vacation.