Coping With COVID-19

Exodus Travels Survey Finds Travel Planning Gives People Hope

A new survey commissioned by Exodus Travels – and conducted by OnePoll – found that 70% of North Americans are coping with the pandemic by taking up hobbies that will enhance their future adventures.

Digging into the behaviors of 2,000 self-identified travellers who have been grounded during the pandemic, the poll discovered that 79% found embracing their hobbies and travel-related activities were key to combating things like boredom, loneliness and being unable to travel due to COVID-19.

In fact, 77% of respondents said that they’ve started completely new hobbies — about four, on average. Thirty-four percent started learning a new language, 45% took up watching travel shows, 49% spent their time reading stories about dream vacations, and 44% began researching hotels and trips they could potentially book when it’s safe to travel again.

The reason for all this fantasy travel planning?

Sixty-four percent said they were about twice as likely to identify as “very happy” than those without leisurely diversions (40% vs. 18%).

Still, nothing compares to the real thing.

The survey found 78% of respondents are happiest when they can travel, while seven in 10 said a year without travel took a negative toll on their happiness in 2020.

Robin Brooks, Exodus Travels’ Marketing & PR Director, said: “It’s been heartening to see so many people taking their passion for global exploration and turning it inward.”

Brooks continued: “Considering everything people have endured, for them to be subscribing to new modes of self-discovery and taking this time to learn new skills and interests that can inform their future travel experiences — there’s just something incredibly hopeful about that.”

According to a past OnePoll report, those who rated their current happiness at a nine or 10 (in a 10-point scale) were the most likely to be currently planning a trip — which shows people are happiest when they have an upcoming adventure to look forward to.

With that, a third of respondents (36%) from this year’s survey stated that if they could take their perfect trip tomorrow, they would be willing to give up coffee shops and Netflix (34%). Almost a fifth of respondents surveyed (18%) said they would give up sex to be able to take a trip.

If travel becomes possible in 2021, respondents said they would prioritize travel to Europe (37%), Central America (36%) and Asia (34%) — while 14% said they want to go “anywhere and everywhere.”

Respondents were most likely to want to take these trips with their significant other (56%), followed by their child (51%) and their friends (38%).

But while 67% said they will travel as soon as they can, respondents are also being cautious.

The survey revealed 77% are paying more attention to what companies they’re travelling with (hotels, tour groups, airlines, etc.) to ensure they’re taking proper precautions for COVID-19.

Said Brooks: “We all miss travel. But the health of our global community must come first. When it’s safe to adventure abroad again, it’s imperative everyone follow the proper precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19, which includes booking travel through companies and organizations that support small local businesses and have the resources to keep their travellers and all people safe.”

And Brooks concluded: “For now, the best thing to do is keep dialed in to the latest safety measures, remember this is temporary, we are all in this together — and keep looking forward to and planning your next adventure — so that when travel comes back, we’ll all be ready.”

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Photo Credit: Exodus Travels

Posted in COVID-19, News, Tour Operators, Trends & Research