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Travel trends for 2022: The rise of revenge travel, bleisure trips, and workations
People around the globe have endured months under lock and key; months of stress, feeling overwhelmed, and mental health challenges; and many months of adapting to change. It's no wonder we're all feeling so hard done by and ready to take back what's ours: freedom of movement, calm, contentment, and a sense of normalcy. Hence the emergence of 'revenge travel' as a growing trend across the industry.
What is 'revenge travel'?
In many ways, 'revenge travel' refers to a heightened desire to get out and about, spread your wings, explore beautiful new destinations, and make up for lost time. It’s about getting ‘revenge’ on the virus and the many unfortunate and unpleasant consequences brought about as a result of lockdown restrictions.
The pandemic caused everyone to lose out on the opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest for well over a year, whether that meant having to put much-anticipated adventures on hold or not being able to spend time with loved ones living far away.
Revenge travel, therefore, revolves around taking action to make up for this. Travelling as much as possible, experiencing new things, and just enjoying the feeling of slowly being able to return to 'normal'.
Revenge travel is primarily leisure-oriented, but it also extends to business travel. Obviously, many business professionals had to sacrifice opportunities to nurture relationships, as well as connect with new clients, partners, and suppliers abroad, which inevitably took a massive toll on companies’ bottom line – as well as on employee morale and productivity. Now, as traveller confidence continues to rise, we are seeing a huge increase in demand for corporate travel.
Professionals are starting to travel more frequently and further afield, and exuding a strong passion for getting more out of a business trip than ever before.
'Bleisure' is the ticket to 'revenge travel'
Along with packing more into professionals’ travel itineraries to maximise progress and productivity, the world is also experiencing a rise in the demand for 'bleisure' trips. People are experiencing intense wanderlust, but are finding that their holiday days and their savings are depleted, making it challenging for them to embark on the revenge travel that they are so craving. The answer for many lies in making the most of their business travels, cramming in as much leisure activity and adventure as possible without steering too far away from their business mission.
As such, up to 60% of all business travellers are enjoying 'bleisure' experiences (i.e. fitting in leisure activities when travelling specifically for business purposes), as well as workations (i.e. planning a getaway during which the person intends to work remotely and ‘play’ outside of ‘office’ hours). This generally means that most travellers are sticking around for much longer periods in a certain destination. It also means that seasonality no longer has such a dramatic influence on travel decisions.
With people enjoying the freedom of remote work, there’s little stopping them from embarking on a workation at any time throughout the course of the year. Few are waiting for the usual peak holiday season to take leave and get away. That’s fantastic news for their own pockets, as well as for accommodation providers’ bottom line as they’ll be optimising capacity more consistently, as opposed to generating the majority of their income at very specific times throughout the year.
With flight, car rental, and accommodation costs set to rise significantly as we approach the festive season – due in large part to higher vaccination rates and the re-opening of borders across the globe to fully vaccinated visitors – it’s safe to say that many individuals may opt to forego their traditional end-of-year holiday and replace it with a workation or a 'bleisure' trip sometime during the first half of 2022.
As the revival of the travel and tourism industry kicks into high gear, concerns regarding climbing costs will come to the fore, leaving prospective travellers pondering whether to put their plans on hold. But those with a strong urge to partake in ‘revenge travel’ needn’t let higher prices put them off. It’s all about making the most of the opportunities available to you, optimising every bit of travel that you’re lucky enough to enjoy, and taking full advantage of the freedom of movement that remote work affords you.