Short and frequent trips with loved ones will be the rage this year, according to new travel predictions released Thursday.
More than 4 in 5 plan to take at least one vacation with family and friends in the next six months, according to Expedia Group’s Traveler Value Index 2022 Outlook that surveyed 5,500 adults ages 18+ online, while over three-quarters are most interested in frequent short trips.
“As people head back into the office and kids remain in school, individuals and families may be looking for more quick doses of adventure,” according to the researchers.
And they’re prepared to dig deep into their pockets for the getaway. More than half (54%) of respondents said they plan to shell out more on trips than they did prior to the pandemic. Per Expedia, the average cost for the next trip for a U.S. traveler: $2,353.
Tap those loyalty points
Two in 5 people, however, plan to use loyalty points accrued during the past two years to cover the cost of a portion of a trip.
While U.S. travelers are interested in jaunts to the Florida Keys, Orlando and Maui, international travel is likely to lift off this year, especially for younger generations, according to the survey.
Roughly half of millennials (49%) and Gen Z (47%) are likely to travel internationally or already have an international trip booked, while older generations are more wary. Just over a third of Gen X would consider going abroad, while only a fifth of baby boomers would do the same.
Top destinations on their radar include Riviera Maya and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, Rome, Bali, London, and Paris, along with St. Thomas and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to Expedia’s research.
Flexible itinerary changes is a must
One caveat to the travel enthusiasm: Concerns about future upticks in Covid cases and the emergence of potential variants in the U.S. and abroad are a stark reality. Little wonder that the ability to easily, and, inexpensively, change travel plans is a strategic factor in many folks’ decision to book a trip in 2022. In fact, 83% of Expedia’s respondents said it’s essential.
Over 3 in 5 surveyed said they “diligently follow Covid-19 guidelines when they travel,” according to the Expedia report, while more than half plan to pick a destination known for strong safety Covid protocols.
Still, the majority of those surveyed are looking for deals, saying discounted fares are the tipping point when it comes to being swayed to book a trip.
A growing percentage of Americans are jumping back on the vacation bandwagon with renewed confidence and excitement, Lee Thompson, a travel expert and co-founder of Flash Pack, a boutique adventure firm for solo travelers in their 30s and 40s, previously told Yahoo Money.
“Everyone feels as if they’ve lost two years of their life,” Thompson said.
What’s the best news for travelers here? “We can expect that travel companies will continue to offer flexible booking options to achieve a competitive edge, so that’s great news for travelers,” said Anni Murphy, Expedia’s corporate communications manager.
A word of caution: “It’s a period of transition for the industry, as travel companies shift to meet growing demand,” Murphy said. “Travelers can benefit from remaining flexible in their plans, staying up to speed on local Covid-19 regulations, and choosing refundable trip options when they can.”
And if you're flying, leave plenty of time. “Plan to arrive at the airport earlier than usual,” she added.
Kerry is a Senior Reporter and Columnist at Yahoo Money. Follow her on Twitter @kerryhannon