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City breaks, summer sun and road trips: Euronews readers on their travel plans for this year

City breaks in Europe are the most popular holiday option for travellers post-pandemic
City breaks in Europe are the most popular holiday option for travellers post-pandemic   -   Copyright  Getty via Canva
By Sarah Palmer

It can’t be said enough: 2020 was a devastating year which hit the travel industry and those who work in it especially hard.

The ban on travel separated family and friends for months at a time. It also prevented us from finding the escapism that comes with travelling - be it to warmer climates relaxing on a beach, or enrichment through finding out more about different places and people.

Less than six months into the beginning of the pandemic, we launched Euronews Travel. The platform was designed to fill the gaping hole COVID-19 left by telling stories, inspiring adventures and helping people reconnect with the world around them.

To celebrate Euronews Travel turning one year old today, we’ve been asking our audience how their travel habits have changed during this formative time.

Here’s what we found out.

How often were people travelling before COVID-19?

According to the data we collected, our audience are regular travellers averaging five holidays a year pre-COVID with around three of these being abroad.

City breaks were the top holiday type, with 52 per cent of people opting for a bright lights getaway. Summer sun came second at 46 per cent, and road trips scored high too at over a third.

Did people travel during the pandemic?

COVID didn’t stop us as 62 per cent of our readers did travel in 2020 or 2021. Our results also indicate that the virus hasn’t deterred the travel fans, as 86 per cent plan on travelling abroad in the next 12 months.40 per cent want to travel within their own country in the next year too.

Where are the most popular holiday destinations?

We asked our audience where they’re hoping to plan their next trip. Europe was the most popular destination by far, with three-quarters of respondents hoping to get to the continent for their post-pandemic getaway.

Perhaps surprisingly, the UK came out on top. We’ve written a lot recently about the UK’s unpredictable travel restrictions and the prevalence of the delta variant. But when it comes to long term planning, there’s no doubt the UK has had a highly successful vaccination programme which has established it as one of the most protected populations in the world.

Spain, Greece, France, Italy and Portugal came next as the most popular holiday destinations for our readers.

How has the pandemic impacted people’s future travel plans?

Interestingly, the type of holiday people are seeking in our post-pandemic world hasn’t changed. Short city breaks, getting away for some summer sun and driving holidays remain as the top three.

While Europe is still a popular choice, other regions featured widely in the responses. People seem more willing to go out of their comfort zone and explore new places following lockdowns and restrictions around travel.

Which elements of travel are people most worried about after COVID?

Uncertainties and COVID regulations are the biggest concerns surrounding future travel plans. 79 per cent of people listed ‘changes to travel restrictions during my trip’ as a worry.

Vaccination is also high on the agenda, with 63 per cent of respondents agreeing that a country’s vaccination status - and their own - makes them feel more confident in travelling. Carbon footprint and sustainable travel came second in the most important topics for this new age of travellers.

For our audience, the most important factors when considering a holiday destination are the flexible cancellation policies, lifted travel restrictions and being vaccinated.

Want to have your say? Check out our questionnaire here.