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Trending Vacation Habits in 2021

by Heather Reynolds

For many travelers itching to go on vacation, 2021 offers plenty of opportunities to get out and go. Whether it’s heading to an outdoor escape or simply cozying up with loved ones while enjoying beautiful surroundings, vacation is on the minds of many.

To identify which trends will shape travel in the coming months, the 2021 Vrbo Trend Report includes data from its global vacation rental marketplace along with survey data from family travelers around the world.

When planning your next vacation, keep these trends in mind:

Finding Fresh Air

Heading to the great outdoors for adventure has long been a popular form of travel, and that desire will likely reach new heights in 2021. After a year of isolation and uncertainty, many families are seeking the serenity and escape of the wilderness.

According to the survey, four of the top five emerging destinations for 2021 are near lakes, rivers or streams where families can camp, hike and fish. At the top of the list, Emory, Texas is a mere 1-hour drive from Dallas where Lake Fork offers a top fishing spot for catching largemouth bass, and the area is also home to the A.C. McMillan African American Museum.

Also making the list are the Red River Gorge in Slade, Kentucky, which is near Mammoth Cave National Park, and Abermarle Sound, the gateway to North Carolina’s legendary Outer Banks where bald eagles, peregrine falcons and other storied high-flyers are abundant.

Cozy is King

The search for coziness and comfort is nothing new for travelers, and the pandemic has only heightened the need for a place to relax and unwind. Many travelers looking for an escape are opting for cabins and chalets, which provide inviting spaces to make family memories while also recharging the proverbial batteries.

Typically nestled near mountainsides, forests and lakes, cabins and chalets offer open spaces so families can leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life while being surrounded by natural beauty, which has led to an increase in demand for Vrbo cabins by nearly 25% and chalets by almost 20% year-over-year.

Going All Out

After a year of canceled trips, families may have found a new appreciation for travel and have a sense of urgency to finally take that dream vacation. When travel eventually returns to pre-COVID-19 levels, many are thinking big – 65% of respondents plan to travel more than they did prior to the pandemic, 33% are willing to spend more money than they traditionally would and 54% said they’re more likely to book that bucket list vacation.

Among those willing to increase their vacation budgets, 46% plan to travel farther away, 55% said they’ll stay longer and 48% have nicer accommodations in mind.

A Vacation Do-Over

It’s common for families to miss their loved ones and seek to make up for lost time. In fact, according to the survey, families who were forced to cancel a 2020 vacation are ready for a redo. Rather than scrapping their trips entirely:

  • 44% of travelers who had a trip canceled due to COVID-19 plan on rescheduling the same vacation.
  • 54% of respondents who want a redo said they were looking forward to going to that destination.
  • 31% of travelers said the main reason they want to go on their next trip is to spend quality time with family.

Find more 2021 travel inspiration along with the full Trend Report at vrbo.com.

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