2021 Travel Plans and Trends: Everyone Wants a Vacation

People are planning 2021 travel with an eye toward worldwide and domestic vacations at volumes that rival past years. That’s one of the most important 2021 travel trends found in Generali Global Assistance’s annual Travel Sentiment Survey.

According to the survey results, 79% of travelers said they’re planning travel for Spring or Summer 2021.

“The average person’s willingness to travel is increasing, and while there’s still plenty of pandemic-related uncertainty, our survey shows that most Americans are planning to travel,” said Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance.

Things get significantly better for travel when respondents take the long view.

Feeling the Need to Travel

All survey respondents said they’re planning to travel sometime in the next 18 months, though their destinations of choice aren’t quite in line with historical norms.

Travelers aren’t as enthused about international travel as they have been in the past, with 63% of survey participants saying they plan to travel domestically in 2021, as opposed to 23% who plan to travel internationally.

What will it take for more U.S. travelers to head overseas? Almost 54% of respondents said they’ll feel comfortable traveling internationally again six months after a vaccine is available.

Read tips for successful post-pandemic travel planning

Traveling Abroad

The survey also identified the countries and states that most U.S. travelers plan on traveling to in 2021. Many old favorites populate the list, which is understandable; when people’s travel is uncertain, they tend to not venture as far afield and rely on comfortable, familiar destinations.

For international destinations, that would mean close-by destinations combined with a couple of selected international locales – which is almost precisely how things turned out:

Top 5 International Destinations in 2021

  1. France
  2. Mexico
  3. Italy
  4. Germany
  5. Canada

Traveling Near Home

You’d expect the list of top domestic destinations to include tried-and-true favorites, and that’s the case here as well:

Top 5 Domestic Destinations in 2021

  1. Florida
  2. California
  3. New York
  4. North Carolina
  5. Texas

You can find information on many of these destinations, as well as many other incredible places around the world, in our guide to the best destinations of 2021.

The upside to these choices is that they’re all popular for good reason: They offer many activities, fine dining, easy transportation, and multiple accommodation options.

Also read: 6 Reasons to Get Travel Insurance for Ski and Snowboard Vacations

Accommodations & Transportation

Speaking of accommodations, hotels are popular with travelers over the short term, but they’re not the only options travelers are considering.


  • 53% of respondents said they are planning to stay in a hotel;
  • Almost 50% (the numbers total to more than 100% because multiple answers were allowed) said they’d be staying at a vacation rental; and
  • Another 38% said they’d be staying with friends and family.

As for transportation, 65% of the survey participants said they’ll be taking their car on an upcoming trip, while 57% of respondents plan on flying. Trains (12%), RVs (7%) and ferries (7%) rounded out the list.

Also read: Hotel or Vacation Rental - Which is Right for You?

Travel Insurance Sentiment

How has the pandemic impacted demand for trip protection, or travel insurance?

Even though people may be traveling less, their need for travel protection hasn’t diminished at all. 58% of the survey participants said they’re more likely to purchase travel insurance for all of their trips going forward.

“The pandemic has impacted average consumers’ willingness to buy travel insurance – almost 60% of U.S. travelers are indicating they’re more likely to buy travel insurance now,” Carnicelli said. “Consumers’ travel demands will continue to change in the wake of the pandemic, and in response, our team is constantly looking for ways to enhance our offerings.”

Also read: Why You Still Need Travel Insurance, Even with Flexible Cancellation Policies

How do people decide which travel insurance to buy? They shop the way they do for practically everything else, which means shopping based on price, online ratings and reviews, and plan coverage.

However, consumers differ in their opinions of what’s most important:

In the end, how you choose travel insurance is less important than the fact that you chose travel insurance. And with 2021 shaping up as a big travel year, the time to start choosing is now.

Get a quote today and get the ball rolling!


Get travel insurance when you need it most
Average Customer Rating:
Start Chat