A year of stay-at-home orders may have kept even the most avid wanderlust grounded, but travel is officially booming again. Not only are people back to booking international flights and carving out time for long-overdue getaways, but we’re talking deluxe, luxurious vacations. Think first-class flights, country hopping, hard-to-reach islands, and splurge-y stays at unique home rentals. This sudden uptick in boujee vacays has a term: revenge travel. But what is it exactly that people are trying to get revenge against? The coronavirus itself.
“This new term has been created to describe travelers who wish to make up for lost time by taking a vacation that may be higher in price than they normally would pay,” explains Terika Hynes, founder of Dynamite Travel, a luxury travel company. “It also refers to those who wish to take an outside-of-the-box or bucket-list type of vacation that they may not have taken under normal circumstances.” In other words, we’ve been sitting around long enough, we’ve got some money to spend, and we’re ready to throw it down on an outrageously indulgent experience.
Here, a closer look at the revenge travel trend, plus how you can take your upcoming vacation to the next level.
Revenge Travel in Numbers
There was a major travel slump in spring 2020, but numbers buoyed a bit as more people sought out “backyard” type getaways or domestic trips that didn’t require taking to the skies. These simple vacations, if you will, allowed us to get out of the house safely and responsibly, but they might not have completely scratched the travel itch.
Beginning at the top of 2021, however, travel companies started to really notice a shift. “Vrbo has seen the best ever start to a year in the U.S., and the momentum has continued into the spring and summer months as families are eager to reconnect,” says Vrbo travel expert Alison Kwong. “[Our] data also indicates that travelers are spending over 30 percent more on their Vrbo stay this year compared to the same period in 2019.”
Glam also reached out to AirBnB to see what sort of trends the home rental company was seeing. In addition to a general upward trend, they saw a spike that correlates specifically with the European Union’s April announcement about relaxing travel orders to allow for leisure visits. “The number of Americans searching AirBnB for a place to stay in Europe grew over 25 percent compared to the previous day,” they tell us. Clearly, people have been eager to get those international vacations planned. American travelers, specifically, have been eyeing destinations such as Iceland (159%), Croatia (115%), and Greece (75%).
Also interesting: The Vacationer recently posted a Revenge Travel/Summer 2021 Travel Survey to find out how many Americans planned to travel this summer, as well as how many plan to travel more to get “revenge” against Covid-19. The results found that 25 percent of people plan to travel more than before Covid-19 once the pandemic is officially over. Additionally, Club Med also found that travelers are spending 20 percent more than they would normally spend on travel.
Hynes adds, “360 Market Reach conducted a survey and found that 40 percent of consumers plan to spend more on their next vacation than they have in the past, with an average increased spend of 45 percent. Younger travelers (18-34) plan greater increased spending (50%) than those over 35, but even older travelers say they’ll spend an average of 43 percent more.” That’s certainly one way to get revenge…
Maximizing the Revenge Factor
Eager to take your next vacay to the next level? You’ve got options. For example, you could hire a private jet to take you somewhere cool. Jet It, a disruptor in private air travel, has seen a 300 percent increase in private jet fliers since the pandemic. Interestingly, the bulk of these flights were spontaneously booked 24 to 48 hours before the actual flight. (A last-minute indulgent getaway is certainly one way to make a splash.)
“The Jet It private jet experience is a very high-touch service, while maintaining the most cost-effective value proposition in the industry,” says CEO Glenn Gonzales. “In most cases you and your guests are airborne to your destination in less than 15 minutes.” At $1,600 per hour, you may want to book with a group of friends to defray the cost between everyone. Whatever the case, it certainly makes for an enviable trip.
Other ways to level-up your experience: splurge on first class, buy a day-pass to any airport lounge during your connections (or opt for Priority Pass if you travel frequently), hire a luxury car for transfers or simply book one outright for your entire vacation, and be on the prowl for perks and discounts. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider hiring a travel agent, who can look for the best deals and packages based on your desired experience.
“We are seeing properties offer substantial discounts, giving away free nights, spa credits, and upgrade promotions for travelers who opt to do longer vacations, during which they will spend more money,” notes Hynes. She adds that if you’re trying to get even more bang for your buck, make arrangements ASAP since demand for travel is very high and only gaining momentum. You can also check new properties to see if they have any pre-opening rates available.
Also, book smartly. “As a professional in the travel industry, this is always my favorite trick: Go where nobody goes,” says Maud Maciak, founder and CEO of Gowhee App. “[Book a] ski resort in the summer, a beach resort in the fall or a city stay in the winter. Choosing your location with an off-season twist is the best way to ensure to get the most budget-friendly options for lodging, restaurants, and activities.”
Wherever you choose to go—be it some glorious island, a bustling European city, or a bougie locale like Aspen or Dubai—take lots of pictures and make the most of it. After the past 18 months we’ve had, you deserve a little revenge travel.
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