More Americans are jumping on the ‘revenge travel’ trend, eyeing destinations in Asia and Europe in 2023

2023 is a year of international travel for many Americans.

A recent survey by tourism industry research firm Destination Analysts found that 31% of Americans are more interested in overseas travel than domestic travel. The November report said that was a six-point gain from February and a year-to-date high.

Destination Analysts also found that more than 82% of US travelers said they had already made travel arrangements since November. 58% have planned a vacation, 51% have booked a trip to see family and friends, 15% have business trips and 9% have planned trips for conventions or conferences.

“There are a lot of pent-up travel requests,” said Jessica Griscavage, travel expert and CEO of Runway Travel. “We missed the trips for two to three years.”

“Journey of revenge,” a new phrase for people’s pent-up desire to see the world, has emerged alongside more lax public health standards both abroad and at home.

Searches for international flights are increasing

Meanwhile, a recent Hopper study found that the percentage of searches for flights in 2023 for overseas destinations rose from 55% in the first week of December in 2018 to 62% this year. The report predicted that overseas travel would be one of the top three trends in 2023, calling it a major comeback.

According to findings from online travel insurance platform Squaremouth, the percentage of Americans who purchased travel insurance for their vacations abroad in 2022 was comparable to 2019 levels for the first time since the start of the period. pandemic. The trend continued through to 2023 bookings.

Easing of border restrictions amid diminishing COVID-19 concerns

Statista reported in July 2022 that due to travel limitations related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the number of U.S. citizens traveling abroad fell to 9.84 million in 2020. In 2021, the estimate was 18.21 million.

Health concerns and international limitations related to COVID-19, such as testing procedures, enforced quarantines, or outright bans on foreign tourists, kept most Americans inside US borders in 2020 and 2021. As outdoor vacations offered the simultaneous benefits of travel and relative protection from disease, national park visits and RV rentals increased.

While 2022 was a year of increased international travel, a spike in COVID-19 cases in late 2021 and 2022, spurred by the highly infectious omicron variety, dampened enthusiasm, experts say.

Now there is less anxiety about the virus. According to Destination Analysts, for the first time in the pandemic era, the proportion of passengers unconcerned about catching COVID-19 exceeded those affected in September.

Additionally, most countries are accepting tourists again, especially those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Kayak statistics, fully immunized travelers can enter 197 countries without undergoing a COVID-19 test or quarantine, while 16 countries are open but require testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 69% of Americans are fully immunized.

According to Kayak, only 12 countries, including Libya, Turkmenistan, China and Yemen, still ban even vaccinated Americans.

Meanwhile, Australia, Israel, Japan, Bhutan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Morocco, Singapore and the Philippines, among others, eased border restrictions in 2022. Many European countries have also eliminated testing requirements for Americans. (Travelers should visit the U.S. Department of State website for information on country-specific COVID-19 limitations.)

A surge in remote working

Additionally, the rise of remote employment in the pandemic era has made “travel on the to-do list more accessible,” according to Nitya Chambers, senior vice president of content and editor-in-chief of Lonely Planet.

Hopper revealed that 67% of travelers are traveling more frequently and 20% are traveling farther due to the flexibility of remote working.

Travel destinations for 2023

As Hopper’s statistics show, the demand for flights to Asian destinations has increased significantly over the past year, from 19% to 27%.

Hopper added that at the start of December, Asia and Oceania were eight of the ten most popular international flight destinations among Americans. The most expensive cities to fly to from the United States were Tokyo, Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok, with return tickets costing around $1,200.

Ben Perlo, CEO of G Adventures, noted that early 2023 sales for trips to Japan, Thailand and Vietnam grew the most. Nonetheless, Hopper noted that Europe is still the most searched destination in terms of overall volume, with European cities accounting for around a third of all overseas flight searches.

Compared to a year ago, demand for long-term rentals (those that last 28 days or more) has “significantly increased” in the Asia-Pacific region, according to an AirBnb representative. However, the majority of permanent residents are in Europe and North America.

According to statistics from Google Flights, major European destinations were among the most searched this year until September 30. After London, the next most searched destination was Paris, then Rome, then Lisbon (#9). Other Asian cities, such as Delhi and Mumbai, ranked well, with Ho Chi Minh City ranking No. 2. (No. 4 and 7, respectively).

On the other hand, a Destination Analysts poll indicated that Italy, Great Britain and France ranked first, third and fifth among the most popular overseas destinations in 2023. is ranked second, Mexico fourth and Japan sixth, accordingly.)

Griscavage noted that due to increased demand, travelers to Europe have become increasingly “creative”. She said many choose the generally less crowded (and less expensive) shoulder season, either as early as March or as late as November.

Americans Unstoppable Despite Economic Anxiety

It’s not like there aren’t challenges to overcome along the way. High inflation has put a strain on tourists’ wallets, making value a particularly important consideration. According to data from the Consumer Price Index, travel costs have increased by 36% over the past year, while accommodation rates have increased by 3%.

Despite signs from the consumer price index that prices for tickets, hotels and rental cars have fallen in recent months, Hopper predicts that international travel will become more expensive next year. However, Destination Analysts reports that even with these economic concerns, interest in international travel has increased and will continue to do so at least until 2022.

American tourists planning trips to Europe have recently been able to save money due to the historically low value of the euro against the dollar. According to Perlo, the dynamic is responsible for at least part of the phenomenon’s success. Although the Euro has risen somewhat in recent weeks.

Despite the current economic climate and high prices, individuals continue to venture abroad, according to Chambers. People have returned from trips abroad and are eager to resume their explorations of the world.


Learn more about Travel Lens and read our editorial charter here.

Comments are closed.