Skyscanner Reveals Top Destinations And Traveler Trends For Americans In 2021

Ashley S. Crofoot
  • 48% of Americans surveyed say the news of a possible vaccine becoming available by the end of 2020 didn’t impact them as they planned to travel in 2021 regardless of a vaccine   

Mark Crossey, US Travel Expert commented: 
“Safety has rightly been the top priority for many people during the COVID-19 pandemic, but with news around vaccine readiness and approvals being granted around the world, we see the appetite for travel in 2021 growing. The events of 2020 have underscored the importance of human connection and quality time with loved ones, and we know from our website traffic and customer behaviour that travelers are turning their gaze to next year. We predict that many customers will prioritize spend on experiences over material goods in 2021, looking to make special memories with loved ones. 

“Missed opportunities in 2020 feature heavily in the trends for 2021, with travelers keen to recapture lost trips for sporting or cultural events. As well as this we see the lasting effects of covid-19 on our psyche, with people re-evaluating and prioritizing long trips and big-ticket holidays as a way to treat ourselves and our loved ones after a hard year. The US is set to make a comeback as soon as the world opens up, with California appearing on the list along with New York and Orlando as global hotspots for travel in 2021.” 

SKYSCANNER’S TOP 2021 TRAVEL TRENDS & DESTINATIONS:  
Zooming out: As the world looks to embrace a world beyond the screen, these notification free nature spots provide the ultimate escape. 
Making magical memories: With the 50-year anniversary of one very special mouse residing in Florida in 2021 and family memories to be made following the disappointment of 2020, where else but Orlando? 
Regenerative Travel will define post Covid trips as travelers consider how they can help rebuild those destinations hit hard by the virus.   
Recovery Bubbles’ locations that responded quickly to the virus, maintaining domestic travel ensures their tourism infrastructure thrives, South Korea’s once up and coming international travel scene is expected to bounce back with aplomb.   
Greece is the word: Whitewashed vistas with deep blue Aegean waters flooded most social media feeds in 2020, Greece firmly placed itself top of almost everyone’s travel wishlists.   
Swell times ahead: Surfing cruises its way into the Olympics for the first time ever in 2021, with the world embracing outdoor pursuits of the socially distanced variety, California offers the best breaks for your break.  
Don’t forget the classics: 2020 highlighted the resilient popularity of some mainstay destinations that are likely to bounce back the moment their fans can return – New York & The Balearics top the charts globally.   
Working from Paradise: There’s no question the 2020 office looked a little different this but The Maldives, The Caribbean & Mexico look set to host the ultimate 2021 office upgrade. 
Beyond the city: As Covid-19 disrupted the city life ideal, many city dwellers flocked to their rural outskirts building a burgeoning scene ripe for mixed excursions. South West England’s new developments lead the pack, with Napa Valley & Garrotxa also offering excellent escapes from the city. 
Sporting Heroes: Almost a year of empty stadiums has led the world to crave the buzz of stadia and belting out sporting anthems, couple that with two of the world’s biggest destinations hosting major sporting occasions those considering an atmospheric adventure should look no further than scouting Lions in South Africa (in rugby stadiums & on safari) or an excursion of Olympic proportions in Japan.  

TREND: SPORTING HEROES 

After a year of empty stadiums and fans suffering from FOMO, 2021 is set to be a huge year for sports travel with some incredible options. 

First up is Japan the ever-popular Asian country will host the biggest sporting event in the world next year with four additional new sports: climbing, karate, skateboarding and surfing. When you’re not cheering on Team USA, sports fans can head to Tokyo’s Ryōgoku neighborhood to watch sumo wrestlers practice. An all-rounder of a destination, Tokyo offers something for everyone, including quirky attractions like the Cup Noodle Museum. 

  • Tokyo is the top searched destination for US travelers looking to go abroad in March. second most searched destination for Americans looking to travel in April and May, and seventh for those looking to travel in June. 
  • The median price in June 2021 is $877, this is down 19% vs 2020 and 7% vs. 2019. That is a $207 saving in 2021 vs. 2020. 

TREND: ZOOMING OUT 

At first, quarantine felt like forced isolation, but now we feel the need for solitude – blame the “always-on” mentality of constant video calls. Going off-grid and heading off into the wilderness is set to be a big trend in 2021, and where better to start than the Atacama Desert in Chile

  • Prices in 2021 are significantly lower than in previous years. The median price is $515, 39% ($330) lower than 2020 and 41% ($355) lower than in 2019. 
  • The lowest 5% of prices show even bigger savings with a 61% drop Vs previous years. The 5% of prices are $247, down from $637 in 2020 and $635 in 2019. 

TREND: RECOVERY BUBBLES 

Many are looking East for a glimpse of what the road to recovery might look like. South Korea is already transitioning into a model of “distancing in daily life”, so things are almost back to normal. In the high-tech city of Seoul, social distancing is made easier at cafés where robots make (and serve) your coffee. Try the best street food at Gwangjang Market, then join a guided tour around the peaceful Changdeokgung – a UNESCO World Heritage listed palace. 

  • Seoul ranks number 10 in the top ten most searched destinations for 2021 by US travelers 

TREND: WORKING FROM PARADISE 

Why work from home when you can work from The Maldives? Many companies have announced that working from home will continue through 2021, so pop your laptop in your hand luggage and jet off to somewhere a little more scenic. 

Percentage of searches from the US for return trips in 2021 with duration longer than 21 days: 

Maldives  

22% 

Mexico  

36% 

Caribbean: Barbados  

30% 

Notes to editors 
Skyscanner 2021 Top Destinations and Trends – images 
Survey of 1001 US participants on Skyscanner platforms during November 2020 

https://www.skyscanner.com/media/travel-in-2021-our-top-trends-and-destinations 

About Skyscanner  
Founded in 2003, Skyscanner is a leading travel company dedicated to putting travelers first by making booking trips as simple as possible. Skyscanner helps more than 100 million people in 52 countries and over 30 languages find the best travel options for flights, hotels and car hire every month. Skyscanner is available on desktop, mobile web and its highly rated app has 10 million downloads. Working with 1200 travel partners, Skyscanner’s mission is to lead the global transformation to modern and sustainable travel.   

For more information, visit: https://www.skyscanner.com/about-us    

SOURCE Skyscanner

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