How will people travel in 2022?

Where do people want to go this year?

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To answer these questions, we spoke to travel advisors, AKA the real travel influencers.

Travel agents and advisors have their finger on the pulse of the industry, booking clients awesome vacations and handling the chaotic changes that have come with the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic.

People walking through the Fort Lauderdale airport (Photo via Eric Bowman)

Here’s what they had to say about the 2022 travel scene.

Top Travel Trends

2022 will see a new type of traveler.

“Saving gas on the commute, not paying for lunch or dry cleaning, the boss not knowing exactly where you are Zooming from, and a strong urge to get the hell out of the house they live and work in are all factors aligning to create a new type of traveler,” said Chad Burt, Co-Founder of Outside Agents. “They have more freedom and money than ever before to invest in shared experiences and feelings they crave. They crave connections and enjoying meaningful time with those they care about. Family and multigenerational travel is booming and will boom even louder as we quell fears with facts. Most importantly, clients are taking action, they’re buying, and we’re here to help.”

Burt said he believes longer trips, bucket list experiences, and revenge spending will drive much of the growth for the industry in 2022. His business is seeing “four times the number of million-dollar agents, three times the number of world cruise bookings, transaction values up 21% and trip duration up too.”

Many advisors polled echoed those sentiments about longer trips, with family and multi-generational travel being a key focus for several of their clients.

black travel family
Family walking on the beach. (photo via kupicoo / Getty Images)

“I’ve seen more multi-gen requests than ever as families want to gather and travel together now that they’re able to again,” said Caroline Sprunger of Jetset World Travel. “They’re willing to spend more time and more money than before for the experience and to have the whole family together.”

“I’m seeing a lot of requests for longer trips, two-week minimums almost,” said Olivia Vasquez of Epperly Travel.

Other advisors said two-week trips are becoming more normal, and requests for four weeks and even six weeks are popping up more often as well.

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Travel technology, man with airplane and laptop

However, some say their clients remain cautious due to continued travel restrictions.

“There is pent-up demand for travel, yes, but it is just that, pent up. My clients are still cautious for 2022,” said Gloria Hobbins of Global Village Travels.

“The biggest trend overall with my clients are concerns about excessive travel restrictions and health protocols, which seem pretty ineffective and pointless now,” said Brad Striegel of Cruise Planners. “People are getting tired of them. Clients want easy access, no-hassle travel. Locations with vaccine requirements are not popular either. As such, easy access destinations like all-inclusive beach resorts in the Dominican Republic, Cancun and U.S. destinations are most popular with my clients.”

One trend that will carry over from 2020 and 2021 is that we should expect to see a continued rise in domestic travel.

“I still see the domestic travel trend that 2020 brought us hanging around a little longer,” said Bailie White of Be the Travel. “Whether that be due to the fact that people feel a little safer traveling within the United States, or they don’t feel comfortable with all of the travel restrictions for exiting and returning to the United States, we’re definitely experiencing an increased client interest for domestic travel for 2022 bookings. Personally, I love it! One of my favorite things to do the past couple of years has been to broaden my experience in booking travel right here in America.”

Top Destinations

Amina Dearmon, owner of Perspectives Travel, sees “domestic destinations that have global influences” as the big trend.

“As a New Orleans-based advisor, I’ve been promoting places like New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah as domestic destinations with global influences,” Dearmon said. “The benefit of traveling to destinations like these is that if clients missed trips to France, Spain, the Caribbean, or Africa, they can have similar authentic cultural experiences in these cities.”

Other U.S. destinations that will remain high on traveler’s lists include Hawaii, Las Vegas, NYC and Miami.

Beach in Cancun
Beach in Cancun. (photo by Codie Liermann)

Internationally though, Mexico and the Caribbean remain the easiest destinations to travel to for Americans, with several flight options available. Plus, the limited to no travel restrictions to enter the country are a huge draw for many travelers.

The region also continues to see a slew of bookings thanks in part to the wide variety of resort options.

“The top travel trend I’m seeing is all-inclusive resorts,” said Scott Lara of Cruise Genius. “While thousands are returning to cruise ships, anti-vaxxers are flocking to resorts in Cancun, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.”

“In 2022 I believe that there will be a resurgence for the Caribbean islands,” said Anthony Tucker, Vice President and General Manager of All Inclusive Outlet. “Much of 2021 has been dominated by Mexico and the Dominican Republic given their more lenient entry requirements, but as we get further away from 2020, I believe that the demand for smaller, boutique experiences will dramatically increase.”

While the tropical destinations will continue to dominate, there is still a major interest in European destinations like Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Croatia, Portugal, France and Italy.

European Union flag over a map of the region.
European Union flag over a map of the region. (photo via iStock/Getty Images E+/FotografiaBasica)

“Travelers are heading back to the cities, and there is also this demand for Europe that has been non-stop,” said Emily Brillanti, founder of Vita Brillanti Travel. “I’m finding that so many of my clients in 2021 were still not quite ready for transatlantic travel, but now, with the vaccine rollout, they are feeling ready to take the longer trip to their favorite European cities.”

“I’m getting a lot of questions and interest in Portugal, which is exciting and well-deserved,” Brillanti continued. “Many of my clients are specifically interested in Porto, Algarve and Madeira Island.”

“We have a ton of requests coming in for Europe – focusing mostly on Greece and Italy,” said Jordan Bradshaw, Vice President of Northcutt Travel Agency. “A lot of people who are wanting to do their honeymoon in those destinations for anywhere from 8-14 days.”

“Families for spring break are starting to look at Europe or for new experiences over your typical Mexico/DR/Jamaica,” Vasquez said. “Families want to either see a new Caribbean island or just go bigger for spring break this year.”

Overall, advisors remain optimistic travel will continue to rebound in 2022, but some are already looking beyond this year.

“2022 will definitely have an upswing for travel, however, I truly believe many bookings will be made for 2023 actual travel,” said Tammy Levent, CEO of Elite Travel.

For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide:

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