How the ‘Dream Vacation’ Has Changed for Americans

dream vacation

The pandemic has changed the way we work, learn and socialize, so it’s no surprise that it’s also changed the way we think about travel. One thing is certain, as the vaccine rollout continues, globetrotters worldwide are eager to return to their regularly scheduled travel.

A new survey from global accommodations search platform trivago reveals not only a widespread desire to travel, but changes in the kind of trips we wish to take. Whereas 62 percent of Americans would travel for pleasure and fun pre-pandemic, future trips will likely have an increased emphasis on wellness and seeing family and friends—they’ll also be closer to home.

Indeed, the very concept of the “dream vacation” has changed, with the typical idea of a big trip or vacation planned ahead and saved for on hiatus. With certain travel restrictions making it difficult to plan in advance and the separation caused by lockdowns, today, the number one choice for a “dream vacation” among survey respondents was a chance to spend “time with the family and friends I’ve missed.”

The survey also revealed that travel as a form of self-care and wellness is a concept that is continuing to grow. Americans largely view travel as part of a well-rounded life.

But is travel a good idea right now? Experts say that while you’re dreaming of that special trip, you don’t have to stay put. With proper planning and precautions, local getaways and weekend road trips can be enjoyed safely. Travelers agree—55 percent of Americans plan to travel domestically, compared to under one-third who have international travel plans. Here are a few ideas to get you excited about travel right now:

  • See every state: Check all 48 contiguous U.S. states off your road trip bucket list.
  • Explore National Parks: From the spectacular red rock formations of the Southwest to the breathtaking sunrises of the Shenandoah, America is beautiful. Explore the country’s wild side via its National Park system. A U.S. Park Pass makes it easy and affordable to visit over 2,000 federal recreation sites nationwide.
  • Go “glamping”: Outdoor adventures are popular right now for a reason, giving you a way to get away while still socially distancing. But if you’re not much of a camper, “glamping” can be a terrific alternative. A portmanteau of glamour and camping, glamping is exactly what it implies. Accommodations vary from yurts to treehouses to safari tents and tend to offer all the amenities of a hotel.
  • Combine your passions: A majority of respondents picked up a new hobby since the start of the pandemic. From cooking to photography to cycling and running, of those who’ve enriched their lives with new activities this past year, the vast majority think it’s at least somewhat likely they’ll pick a vacation connected to the new pastime once the pandemic ends. Take a safe, local trip inspired by your new hobby.
  • Know before you go: Do your research before heading out. Check out trivago, which offers tools for booking local trips, as well as travel tips and inspiration. Visit

So much has changed in the last year, including the way we think about travel and plan our getaways. One thing is certain, for many Americans, travel remains a priority.

Information from StatePoint

PHOTO SOURCE: (c) vvvita / iStock via Getty Images Plus


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