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The pandemic suddenly and radically disrupted travel in the spring of 2020. But when lockdowns eased, travelers cautiously got back in the game — and new patterns emerged.
With health and safety as the top priorities, domestic road trips boomed. So did interest in private vacation rentals, as travelers sought private lodging away from other guests and staffers posing potential risks.
Work, school, and vacation calendars began to blur together as remote offices and campuses went widespread. And in addition to protecting their physical health, travelers looked to boost their mental health by heading to natural, unspoiled destinations with access to outdoor activities.
As we head into a new year, many of the early trends will stick and evolve. And with vaccines on the horizon, travelers expect they might have to make modifications as news develops; many are taking advantage of historically flexible and value-priced trips for dates substantially into the future.
We used sources like Airbnb and Vrbo booking data to define 2021’s top trends and consulted with travel and medical experts to interpret them into actionable tips you can use for booking and executing safer travel in the coming year.
Bear in mind that the virus continues to spread uncontrollably and it will be months before vaccines are widely available for everyone. Therefore no travel is without risk right now, and there is no guarantee of safety. Always follow the guidelines and advice set forth by organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practice safety measures no matter where you go, including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distance from others who don’t live in your household.