7 Travel Trends of 2021

Road Trip Travel is on The Rise

It’s no secret that border restrictions have slowed down international travel considerably, but this isn’t stopping travel enthusiasts. Those itching to go on vacation are traveling near and far by car!

Not only is road-tripping a more accessible option for families to take in 2021, but staying within the family bubble for comfortable and safe travel is what Americans are finding preferable. And, because the United States has so much to offer, there’s plenty of territory to cover to keep us busy until international restrictions get lifted.

An International Travel Rebound

It’s a fair assumption that international travel will have a strong rebound eventually, but it’s looking more hopeful than before. With the European Union considering allowing U.S. travelers in by late summer and the Caribbean and Mexico already open to tourism, we can see international travel picking back up by late 2021.

And we’re not the only ones excited about that. The travel and tourism industry is chomping at the bit to get international travel popular again. Travel companies are offering special deals and incentives to compensate for a low-travel year. So take advantage of this by booking now because once travel has recuperated, you’ll start to see these offers disappear.

An Increase in Travel Agent Use

Over the last year, travelers have started to see the value of a travel advisor. Between travel restrictions, border closures and reservation cancellations in 2020, those who booked with a travel agent saved hours of time and potentially thousands of dollars. And – clients of travel agents left the headache to the professionals. 

Benefits of using a travel agent:

  • Global relationships with travel and tourism companies: Having a relationship with major travel brands (Like cruise lines, tour operators and hotel chains) can help navigate some sticky situations. It also helps gain you extra benefits, deals and amenities you wouldn’t otherwise get if you were booking on your own. 
  • Save money and time: Travel agents can help find the best value for the vacation you want. They’ll do all the shopping and quotes, plus they have the professional booking knowledge to communicate what a reasonable price is for a client’s accommodations.
  • Extra benefits: As mentioned above, the relationships travel agents and agencies have with the rest of the industry score clients extra goodies. Such extras like cruise credits, complimentary dining and welcome packages (like sparkling wine) waiting for you upon arrival are not out of the question when booking with an agent. (These are all member benefits when booking select trips with AAA Travel.)
  • Seamless travel: Travel agents will make sure the trip planning runs smoothly and will be there to support you during your travels. So not only do they set you up for success, they’re there to resolve any issues that may pop up while on your trip. 

Prices on the Rise

The more stable travel becomes, the more in demand it will be. Because of this, prices will undoubtedly increase. As mentioned before, the way to take advantage of the current low prices is to start planning in 2021, even if you’re not comfortable traveling yet. Many agencies will allow you to place a deposit and pay for the trip over the next several months (or longer) so you can start planning well in advance.

The travel and tourism industry across the board is working on getting bookings, reservations and tickets set up to compensate for the low travel rates over the last year. Once the consensus is that travel is safe, airlines, tour operators and cruise lines will adjust prices accordingly.

Standards Are Up 

Travel agencies, the travel and tourism industry and travelers have redefined the cleanliness guidelines for the hospitality industry. As a result, hotels, motor coaches, airlines and cruise ships are being held to a new standard by customers. Travelers are desperate to seek out safe, clean environments to stay in while they are away. 

AAA Travel has created a new program to help meet the high standards of its members and clients with the  Best of Housekeeping program. This program locates properties that are considered top tier in housekeeping. Properties range from small inns to hotels to all-inclusive luxury resorts and only enroll said properties in the program if they’ve proven to go above and beyond in housekeeping services. 

Hertz Rental Car is another excellent example of upped standards. Hertz uses a strict 15 point cleaning process and inspection, labeled Hertz Gold Standard Clean, for all of their vehicles to accommodate their clients. Once the car is clean, it is sealed with a Gold Standard sticker that goes over the door, so customers have peace of mind they’re the only ones to enter after the cleaning. 

New Definition of Safe Traveling

In 2021, safe travel has been redefined. It’s not just floatation devices under your airplane seat or wearing your seatbelt on a road trip. It’s social distancing and maintaining a social bubble, and it’s better awareness of necessary vaccinations to travel across borders. Of course, none of these things are brand new to travel, but we’ve become more conscious of these safety measures.

Technology has also played a new role in keeping guests safe while on the go. The travel and tourism industry has found a way to create less contact between travelers and less touchable surfaces to spread germs. 

 

The Parking Spot airline parking has a touchless in-and-out experience by using Fast Exit on the Parking Spot App, and Walt Disney World Resort also uses an app for check-in and out of their resorts, so guests don’t have to wait in line or use a kiosk.

Work From Home… Or a Hotel Room

 

Much like the travel world, the working world has changed as well. Because of this, travel and work can now collide! Hybrid, work-from-home schedules are allowing employees to travel away from the office without using precious vacation time. Now employees can have the option to meet their work deadlines while sitting oceanfront in a luxury resort — as long as there’s Wi-Fi.

Ready to plan your next trip? Speak with a AAA Travel Agent to get started.

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