Get your passport ready as Airbnb shares its travel predictions for 2021

Travel has been front of mind for all of us with little insight on what it will look like post-pandemic. Here is a fascinating look at Airbnb’s travel predictions for 2021.

Airbnb's 2021 Travel Trends
(Image credit: Airbnb)

Vacation rental platform Airbnb has released a new report highlighting how our holiday habits will change in 2021. 

Now that a vaccine is being rolled out, and restrictions are being eased, holidays are firmly back at the forefront of our minds. However, according to Airbnb, 2021 will be filled with holidays not as we knew them. 

See more: Inside 9 of the world's most stunning holiday homes

From working from abroad to taking the road less traveled. Airbnb has predicted the holiday habits and destinations we'll be heading to this year and into the next.

Airbnb Holiday predictions 2021

1. Meaningful travel 

airbnb travel predictions

(Image credit: Airbnb)

The holiday rental website suggested that we will see a shift toward more meaningful travel this year as the pandemic continues to limit mass tourism and afflict the industry overall. 

When travel returns this year, there will be a focus on connecting with loved ones through more personal trips, with mass tourism seen as unlikely to return at any scale this year. 

Airbnb Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky writes 'Once people feel safe to travel, they will. But it will look different than before the pandemic. Travel will be viewed as an antidote to isolation and disconnection. People don’t generally miss landmarks, crowded shuttles, and lines and lobbies packed with tourists. 

Mass travel is really just a different form of isolation—you are anonymous, herded around with other travellers, never really experiencing the people and culture of a community. What people want from travel now is what they’ve been deprived of—spending meaningful time with their family and friends.'

2. First trip, next trip

Airbnb's 2021 Travel Trends

(Image credit: Airbnb)

How to approach the next trip after the first trip in a considered way is also front of mind for travelers. It is thought that travelers will still prioritize travel to be close to family but equally prioritize a new experience or destination, preferably nearby, followed by a return to a favorite destination. 

Older travelers (50+) are most interested in future travel to be close to family and to revisit a favorite spot, followed by a new experience or destination. 

Younger travelers remain most interested in a second trip as a new experience or destination, followed by being close to family, being close to nature, and returning to a favorite place. 

3. Live Anywhere Taking Life on the Road

Airbnb travel predictions

(Image credit: Future/Paul Massey)

In a survey commissioned by Airbnb in 2021, work from home could become 'work from any home' as remote working continues to be a reality for many people. 

One of the ways travelers are taking advantage of this trend is trying before they buy. Turning to Airbnb to test new neighborhoods and cities before making a long-term commitment. 

From July to September this year, Airbnb has seen a 128% increase in guest reviews mentioning “relocation”, “relocate”, “remote work” and “trying a new neighborhood” in comparison to the same time frame last year. 

4. Redefining the Staycation 

Airbnb experiences, kitchen and living area in windmill in Kent

(Image credit: Airbnb)

As uncertainty persists, domestic travel will continue to be a key trend in 2021, with 62% of people interested in taking a vacation within driving distance of home. 

Looking back at September 2019 for trip planning in 2020, for US guests, cities like Paris, London and Rome were all top destinations. Next year, a range of domestic locations in national parks, winter ski and beach towns are becoming the most popular, perhaps showing a departure from regular seasonal travel, and a preference for traditional vacation getaway destinations year-round.

5. Business travel as we knew it is not returning

Interior tips from Airbnb’s most liked properties, flooring in an old converted school house in upstate New York

(Image credit: Yannis Malevitis)

This is the type of travel people miss the least! 6%, versus travel to spend time with loved ones at number one with 48%. More than one-third of people surveyed (36%) expect to travel less for work after the pandemic compared to before it began.

It is thought that the pandemic has institutionalized remote working for many companies—two in five Americans (41%) are able to work or study from home at least some of the time. 

See more: 5 beautiful 'fakation' destinations that will feel like you went abroad this summer

In another recent survey commissioned by Airbnb, 35% of respondents say it will become more common post-pandemic for people to relocate to new places so they can take advantage of the ability to work remotely. As employees become more widely distributed across, a greater share of business travel will likely consist of employees traveling from these locations to gather at their workplaces.