Editorial Note: Forbes Advisor may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but this does not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.
The past year has been bleak for travel, for obvious reasons.
But there was a spike in travel the day before Thanksgiving last year, when 1.1 million travelers passed through airport checkpoints, according to the Transportation Security Administration. 1.2 million more travelers passed through airport checkpoints on Christmas Eve.
Still, travel was down from 2019, when about 2 million travelers boarded planes on Thanksgiving Eve and 1.9 travelers flew on Christmas Eve.
Holiday travel this year will approach 2019 levels. We analyzed the latest travel insurance data from Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider, to spot holiday travel trends for trips that have been booked. between November 20, 2021 and January 2, 2022.
Featured Travel Insurance Partners
COVID medical coverage
COVID Cancellation Coverage
COVID medical coverage
COVID Cancellation Coverage
Related: Do you need travel insurance for your Thanksgiving trip?
Sun and sand are back in demand
Travel to the United States is the most popular vacation destination this year. This makes sense given that many travelers visit family during the holidays.
But for some people, a trip south of the border is better than a visit to the in-laws. Seven of the 10 most popular vacation destinations this year are known for their fabulous beaches.
Mexico, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands topped the most popular destinations booked this year, second only to the United States
Most popular holiday destinations 2021
10 most popular vacation destinations per year
While vacation travel outside of the United States has not returned to pre-pandemic levels, travel to the United States is down 13.5 percentage points from 2020. And sunny areas from the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands entered the top 10 this year. .
Domestic travelers spend like international jet-setters
Vacationers who visit the United States this year certainly don’t skimp. Domestic travelers have increased their travel spending by an average of 46% this year compared to just two years ago.
After a spike in spending in 2020, insured travel costs for international travel in 2021 are about 10% higher than pre-pandemic spending in 2019. The average cost of a trip for a vacation abroad is now close to $ 5,800. Many travelers can return home with many free novelty soaps and shampoos from hotel stays.
Average travel costs 2019-2021
Covid coverage is the # 1 concern for travel insurance buyers
Even with vaccines readily available, Covid is a priority for many vacationers. Flexibility is the key to traveling in 2021 and travel insurance is a good way to add financial security to a trip.
Travel insurance which includes coverage for Covid-related issues was by far the No. 1 consumer research before purchasing a policy, Squaremouth data shows. About a third (35%) of holiday travel insurance buyers specifically sought pandemic travel insurance in 2021, up from 27% in 2020.
The best pandemic travel insurance includes valuable Covid-related coverage for trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and medical evacuation. You can find plans that offer primary medical coverage, which means you won’t have to use your own health plan first. If you are traveling abroad, Covid medical coverage is usually a must. This is because your health plan may not have global coverage. Be sure to check your health plan details when planning a trip abroad.
Another useful coverage is âcancel for any reasonâ travel insurance. This coverage gives you the flexibility to cancel your trip for any reason, whether you don’t like a country’s Covid testing requirements or prefer to stay home to watch HBO Max. You are reimbursed for 50% or 75% of your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses as part of a cancellation request for any reason.
There is an additional charge for âCancel for Any Reasonâ coverage. On average, it amounts to 50% of the cost of basic travel insurance. But it’s coverage worth considering if you want the ultimate flexibility to bail out your trip and get a refund.
Main concerns of holidaymakers
Some countries require travel insurance and more
If you want to venture beyond the United States during the holiday season, be sure to check the destination country’s entry requirements well before setting out on your trip. If you do not meet the conditions, you will not be allowed to enter.
For example, you need to purchase travel insurance for a vacation to the Turks and Caicos Islands. There is no specific amount required, but it is a good idea to purchase at least $ 50,000 per person for medical expenses and $ 100,000 per person for medical evacuation.
In addition to travel medical insurance, your destination may require one or more of the following:
Proof of vaccination against Covid
- Recent negative Covid test (be sure to check what types of tests are acceptable and how recent they must be)
- Completed health screening questionnaire