With level five restrictions in place across the country, it’s perhaps no surprise that many of us are planning something to look forward to in 2021 with travel top of mind for many. According to new research by Aer Lingus, 6 in 10 people are keen to travel abroad next year, subject to the implementation of a safe international travel policy.
The study of 1,000 people across the country into post 2020 travel habits also find that while 72% were satisfied or very satisfied with their staycation in Ireland, over half (57%) missed the guaranteed sun on a holiday abroad most this year. 7 in 10 say they missed escaping the daily grind of Ireland while 58% longed to see new sights, craving the excitement associated with discovering somewhere new.
Reconnecting in 2021 is a priority, with 56% of respondents highlighting holidaying with friends and family they haven’t been able to see in 2020 as a key consideration in booking international travel next year. Half of Irish respondents are looking forward to a little sun bathing and beach lazing, whilst 4 in 10 are dreaming of that chic city-break.
As the nation starts to look ahead at the longer-term implications on attitudes to travel, trends are set to change, with over 6 in 10 planning to broaden their horizons by travelling to quieter ‘off-the-beaten-track’ destinations – avoiding crowded resorts. In terms of frequency, travellers are more willing to consolidate travel; with 4 in 10 looking to a return to one more substantial/ further afield holiday per year rather than numerous smaller trips, whilst 36% are looking to take advantage of the next travel season, with a big bucket list or dream trip.
Interestingly, 61% of Irish people will be factoring sustainability into their next holiday plan, with 55% also desiring a holiday including lots of outdoor activity and experiences in nature – showing how 2020 has really made the nation appreciative of more eco-adventures.
Limited contacts and social bubbles have become a main-stay of daily life in recent months, which shows in Ireland’s group travel sentiment as travel circles look to become smaller next year; with the majority, 47%, aiming to travel with just a partner or immediate family, rather than in large groups.
In terms of barriers to travel in 2021; 60% raised concerns around health and safety in visiting a new country, as well as concerns around having to unexpectedly quarantine on their return to Ireland.
For the 45% concerned about losing money should a trip need to be cancelled; Aer Lingus’ 2021 flexible booking policy alleviates this stress, with free unlimited changes on all routes and all fare types as well as guaranteed voucher and cash refund options on certain fare types; allowing customers to book that long-anticipated summer holiday with confidence.