Not much needs to be said about 2020 being a rough year: 76 percent of Americans said it was harder to stay positive in 2020 than in previous years, according to new research commissioned by Exodus Travels and conducted by OnePoll. To that end, the survey, which included 2,000 international travelers, found that 79 percent said embracing new hobbies was key to coping with the pandemic and lack of travel.
With that said, the survey also looked into the factors contributing to a cautious approach to optimism in the new year—with “a hope that the pandemic will end in 2021” topping the list (52 percent)." This was closely followed by the end of 2020 (51 percent) and the idea of traveling more in 2021 (45 percent). Also high on the list of why respondents are feeling more hopeful were practicing a positive mindset (28 percent) and choosing to believe the future is full of possibilities (19 percent).
And while 75 percent said they followed the news more closely during 2020 than ever before, 76 percent said limiting screen time overall is contributing to being more optimistic. Additionally, 82 percent of respondents said they made a conscious effort in 2020 to do things that make them happy in order to combat the events of the year.
Sixty-four percent of respondents have hobbies, and they were more than twice as likely to identify as “very happy” than those without hobbies (40 percent versus 18 percent). Of those with hobbies, 77 percent said they’ve started new ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. These hobbies aren’t just a way to pass time, either, as results found 70 percent admitted to picking up hobbies that will benefit their future travel plans (such as learning a new language).
Results of the survey found hobbies might contribute to happiness, but it appears travel does, too: 78 percent of respondents said they are happiest when they can travel. And even when they couldn’t travel, some respondents found ways to adventure vicariously. In 2020, respondents read about vacations (49 percent), watched travel shows (45 percent) and even looked at hotel options for a destination (44 percent).
Perhaps not so surprising: According to a past OnePoll survey, 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—showing people are happiest when they have an upcoming adventure to look forward to.
Still, none of this compares to the real thing, according to Exodus Travels. In fact, just over one-third of respondents (36 percent) stated that if they could take their perfect trip tomorrow, they would be willing to give up coffee shops or Netflix (34 percent)—while almost a fifth (18 percent) would even give up sex.
In 2021, respondents are prioritizing travel to Europe (37 percent), Central America (36 percent) and Asia (34 percent)—while 14 percent said they want to go “anywhere and everywhere.” They’re also most likely to want to travel with their significant other (56 percent), child (51 percent) or friends (38 percent).
But while 67 percent said they will travel as soon as they can, respondents are also being cautious. The survey revealed 77 percent are paying more attention to what companies they’re traveling with (including hotels, tour groups, airlines, etc.) to ensure they’re taking proper precautions for COVID-19.
Source: Exodus Travels