According to a new study released Monday by Hilton, 95 percent of Americans are missing travel right now. It’s not surprising, Hilton says, after six months of restrictions brought on by a global pandemic that has led to working and learning from home and little change in scenery. In addition, the survey found that millions of Americans already feel a “travel memory deficit,” leading to greater stress and the feeling of FOMO (“fear of missing out”) on lost special moments with loved ones.
Traveling, it seems, is one of the American pastimes that brings long-lasting joy, with nine in 10 respondents saying that travel memories are the fondest they have. Travel—over special occasions or personal achievements—is attributed to creating people’s most frequently recalled “happy memory,” with the majority of those surveyed also citing that creating these lasting memories is a primary motivation for their trips. Further: 54 percent said travel memories are more important than their favorite piece of jewelry and 53 percent say those memories are more important than their smartphone.
It’s not surprising, then, that nearly all respondents (94 percent) who travel said they plan to do so once restrictions and limitations are lifted. In fact, two-thirds (66 percent) plan to make travel a priority and want to take that “bucket list” trip.
Over one-third of Americans plan to travel more than they previously did once travel restrictions are lifted and three in five (62 percent) will be more adventurous by journeying to brand-new places to make travel memories. Noteworthy: About seven in 10 travelers say their trips have been made memorable by the destination itself. Close to half of travelers’ trips have given them an appreciation of nature (47 percent).
Why are Americans traveling? Respondents say making memories with loved ones is one of the most important reasons they travel (63 percent), second only to traveling for relaxation. Nearly half (44 percent) link travel to improved relationships with their friends and family and believe they’ve even gained a feeling of gratitude for what they have in their lives (44 percent). Similarly, nearly three in five (57 percent) Americans who travel believe that the people who accompany them are what make their trips unforgettable. Among a variety of childhood memories, one-third (33 percent) of Americans remember those about special trips and travel with their family the most often; more than those who think about memories tied to holiday celebrations or even family traditions.