Vacasa survey reveals spring travel trends

With the second spring of the pandemic—and the typically beach-bound Spring Break season—now underway, the budding question is: Are people actually planning to travel? Vacasa, a vacation rental management platform in North America, has released its Spring Break-Down of the season’s top travel trends to help answer that question and learn if, where and why people plan to take a vacation this season.

An independent survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers over the age of 18 fielded by Allison+Partners found most people are hopeful for the year ahead and ready for a new view: 59% plan to take a trip at some point during spring 2021 and, of those planning to travel, 73% will be dusting off their suitcase for the first time in more than a year. Though optimism is clearly abloom, safety is still a top springtime concern as close-to-home trips, destinations primed for social distancing and pod travel all ranked high among respondents.

“The recent survey results align with the trends we’re seeing in our own data, and are clear indicators that consumer confidence in travel is on the rise,” said Natalia Sutin, VP of revenue management at Vacasa. “Our volume of new bookings hit record highs in the past several months for stays well into spring and summer, showing that people are eager to travel, but still prefer the spaciousness, privacy and cleanliness of professionally managed vacation homes.”

Here are a few key findings:

  • Most travelers are planning their spring vacation(s) at a beach (57%) and/or lake (25%), like Myrtle Beach, SC, or Lake Tahoe, while 29% have their sights set on a mountain setting à la Jackson Hole, WY.
  • Of those traveling, a majority (56%) said they will stay relatively close to home, venturing approximately 500 miles away or less.
  • People are sticking to their pods: 53% said they plan to travel with their spouse and/or kids, while just 10% plan to vacation with friends.
  • The top reasons for people deciding to travel for the first time are being cooped up at home for too long (42%) and needing a change in scenery and/or company (39%).
  • A total of 39% of respondents also say they’re doing so because they feel safe traveling and 33% because there are COVID-19 vaccines available.
  • Cabin, and partner, fever may be real. More than any other living situation, those who have been living with their significant other during the pandemic say they are traveling for the first time because they’ve either been cooped up at home for too long or they need a change in scenery and/or company (48%).
  • Regardless of whether or not they intend to travel in the next few months, three in five people said they have already received or plan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before hitting the road.

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