A recent survey of North American travellers, commissioned by adventure tour operator Exodus Travels and conducted by OnePoll, found that learning a new language and immersing themselves in travel stories is helping people cope with COVID-19. The survey questioned 2,000 self-identified travellers and their behaviours during the time they have been unable to travel because of the pandemic.
1. New hobbies
The survey showed that 70% have taken up hobbies that will enhance their future adventures as a way of coping with the pandemic, whilst 79% said that they found embracing their hobbies and travel-related activities key to combating things like boredom, loneliness and being unable to travel. 77% percent of respondents said they have started completely new hobbies, about four on average, with 34% having started learning a new language. 45% took up watching travel shows, 49% spent their time reading stories about dream vacations, and 44% began researching hotels and trips they could potentially book when it’s safe to travel again.
2. Travel and happiness
64% of respondents said they were about twice as likely to identify as ‘very happy’ than those without leisurely diversions (40% vs. 18%). However, 78% said they are happiest when they can travel, and 70% said a year without travel took a negative toll on their happiness in 2020, showing that nothing compares to the real thing.
Additionally, according to a past OnePoll report, those who rated their current happiness at a nine or 10 out of 10 were the most likely to be currently planning a trip, showing people are happiest when they have an upcoming adventure to look forward to. Similarly, in the more recent survey 36% of respondents stated that if they could take their perfect trip tomorrow, they would be willing to give up coffee shops and Netflix (34%). Almost a fifth of respondents surveyed (18%) said they would give up sex to be able to take a trip.
3. Travel in the future
Looking forward to the possibility of travel becoming possible in 2021, respondents said they would prioritise travel to Europe (37%), Central America (36%) and Asia (34%), while 14% said they want to go ‘anywhere and everywhere’. Respondents were most likely to want to take these trips with their significant other (56%), followed by their child (51%) and their friends (38%).
However, although 67% said they will travel as soon as they can, respondents are also being cautious. The survey revealed 77% are paying more attention to what companies they’re traveling with (hotels, tour groups, airlines, etc.) to ensure they are taking proper precautions for Covid-19.