Airbnb says pandemic boosting popularity of ‘nearby’ trips

Travel experts at Airbnb say vacationing is going to look a bit different in 2021.

new report published by the home sharing platform has suggested that Americans will be seeking out “affordable” and “nearby” getaways, as the world nears the one-year mark of the coronavirus outbreak being declared a global pandemic.

Airbnb came to these conclusions based on a survey it commissioned from ClearPath Strategies, a boutique research and consulting firm. In a sample of 1,010 U.S. adults, more than half said they would enjoy a reasonably-priced vacation somewhere nearby.

Fifty-four percent of surveyed respondents said affordability will be a top priority for them when choosing accommodations this year. The desire to save money was notably 10 points higher than health and safety protocols, according to Airbnb.

Though consumers look to spend conservatively, many said they do hope to travel this year.

Fifty-eight of respondents who earn less than $50,000 per year said they are either already booked, have plans ready or expect to travel at some point in 2021. The travel bug was even more contagious among respondents who earn over $100,000 per year, with 75% having indicated they’re already booked, planning or expect to go somewhere.

In terms of where American travelers are trying to go, 56% of respondents said they want to visit a domestic or local destination.

Staycations have become so popular during the pandemic, however, that one in five said they want their vacation destination to be “driving distance of home.”

Similarly, when asked if they are interested in taking a trio that is within driving distance, 55% of respondents indicated they are “extremely” or “very interested.” Preference for car travel reportedly beat out air travel by 17 points.

Only 21% of the survey’s respondents said they want to visit an international destination.

Although Americans might be planning their future vacations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people avoid non-essential travel at this time. To date, over 25.7 million Americans have been infected with the potentially deadly novel coronavirus, according to data from the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.

Cortney Moore is a Digital Associate Writer/Producer for Fox Business. Follow her on Twitter at @CortneyMoore716.