Travel Edge: Clients Have Renewed Focus on Bucket Lists, Wellness and Bleisure

As travelers dust off their passports and prepare for 2022 travels, Travel Edge has compiled data and insights that showcase the trends their advisors are seeing for spring 2022 and beyond. “Most notably,” Nadiya Makarenko, senior vice president of Travel Edge Network, said, “these trends include a refocus for bucket-list trips, the evolution of 'workcations' and ‘bleisure’ travel, extended trips and wellness getaways.”

Refocusing Bucket List Trips 

According to Travel Edge, travelers are reevaluating and actioning their bucket list trips, such as safaris in Africa to witness seasonal migration, long-stay European trips combining city and countryside, and polar expeditions. Beyond the destination alone, travelers want to ensure they are being immersed in the five senses of a destination while being mindful of locals and their livelihood.

“Bucket list travel is here to stay, but with renewed perspective and intention. The pandemic reminded many of life’s uncertainties, causing a mass refocus on travel goals and an intent to make those dreams a reality,” Makarenko said.

Furthermore, COVID-19 has encouraged careful consideration regarding what a bucket list trip looks like. Domestic travel—including New York City, Hawaii, the California coast and state parks are all popular among Travel Edge clients.

The Evolution of The Workcation 

Due to flexible work styles, Travel Edge noted an increase in interest for workcations and bleisure trips by over 25 percent compared to recent years. Travel Edge professionals are witnessing longer stays in urban hubs, including long-haul trips to Europe and South America. The duration of these trips has tripled within the last three years as most long-haul trips now last for 10 or more days.

Notably, Travel Edge professionals see this trend extending beyond business travelers. Families are finding mixing business with leisure travel as a popular way to reconnect after years apart. These travelers are requiring varied offerings to meet their new long-stay travel needs, such as more spacious accommodations or amenities. The good news: According to Makarenko, hotels are introducing new room types focused on longer stays, characterized by apartment elements.

On The Rise: Extended Stays and Wellness Getaways

Interest in robust wellness programs continues to rise beyond a hotel’s spa and fitness club walls. Wellness now blurs the lines with other elements of travel such as food, design and retail, as well as extending beyond physical and mental wellness to a renewed sense of self-awareness and self-love. Said Makarenko: “We’re noticing a recentering among travelers who, in years past, may have been more focused on traveling for the ‘Gram, so to speak. There is a refocused intention on what it means to be mindful and present outside of a cell phone app, not only for relationships but also for oneself.”

Travel Edge insiders noted that they are seeing young and middle-aged professionals seek longer stays in destinations, as well as prioritizing properties that focus on small-scale wellness and serenity. To meet this need, hotels are offering more gym equipment in select room types, bringing wellness directly to the guest. “Our clients respond well to these wellness amenities such as tea upon arrival or small-scale green spaces in under-utilized spaces for meditation and relaxation,” added Makarenko.

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