bucket list travel

Covid-weary consumers are seeking escapes from a problem filled year. Tired of sitting on their couch and watching the travel channel, they are instead making plans to finally stretch their legs. Social listening reveals bucket list travel is being booked by eager consumers.

Using social media monitoring to inform our investigation, we will discuss risk versus reward when it comes to consumers and their longing to travel. And we’ll hit on these key points:

  • Travel and consumer sentiment
  • Location, location, location – top spots for consumer travel
  • Travel trends and where consumers are focusing their funds

And these statistics about traveling in a pandemically altered world should be kept in mind:

  • 93% of survey respondents say they plan to travel in 2021
  • Europe is the #1 travel destination in the coming year
  • In 2018, 87% of travelers wanted to travel more sustainably – something to keep your eye on as sustainability is a growing and top priority for consumers

importance of SA for consumer insight

Is the Travel Standstill Over?

The events of 2020 have gone a long way to highlight the importance of personal connection and the freedom to travel. This deprivation has influenced eager consumers to book vacations in the coming year, so much so that travel consultants say 2021 is almost booked up. In fact, Africa Adventure Consultants report that 77% of their inquiries have been for 2021, while only 23% are for 2022.

Social listening reveals consumer conversation. Our clusters are segmented and titled according to subject. They are filtered to show sentiments, green for positive and red for negative. And green dominates the entire picture of travel, from Travel Trends to Eco Friendly Destinations, with some neutral (yellow) peeking through and a few red strands.


This all speaks to travel readiness, and many luxury tour operators say that “bucket list” vacations are trending for 2021-2022 bookings. Destinations vary but by searching relevant terms we can create tags to show which subjects of travel are popular. We’ve found that raveling around nature, budget traveling, sustainable traveling, local vacations and safari were all topics of great interest.


Micato, a Safari cruise company reports they’ve experienced their highest ever demand for trips within the 2021 time period, with the coming year almost sold out.

And this post below echoes sentiments found throughout our clusters – people are ready to travel, pandemic or not.


So, aside from safari capable countries what are the top travel locations consumers have their eyes on? We can identify emerging trends in travel using social media monitoring.

Travel Locations in Top Demand

According to travel insurance collector Squaremouth, in 2021, 65% of trips are to international destinations. And with 93% of survey respondents saying they plan to travel in 2021, it begs the question, where to? Using social listening, we’ll pinpoint where those places are.

Our bar chart has been filtered to show top destinations being discussed within our travel plan conversations. Europe is number one in demand and has about 1/3 more interest than the US.


Europe is big news, and Forbes Magazine reports that Tuscany is the number one luxury travel spot. And maybe that’s because Italy was hit hard at the beginning of the pandemic, causing massive cancelations. Now it’s become the second most sought after destination for Americans. In the US, Orlando Florida has been voted #1 along with Disney World. Which is no surprise as Disney is taking every step possible to create a safe space for families to visit.

Fine Tuning The Search

We can fine tune our search a bit more by whittling it down to gender – how does this change the destination? Well, women are leading the travel trend in every category, while men are interested but perhaps just not as motivated. Europe is still number one, while the US has been downgraded to spot three, while Australia moves up to number two:


But destination is not the only way in which the sexes differ. And statistics bear this out when it comes to COVID-19 safety while traveling: 60% of females said they’d wash their hands or use hand sanitizer more while traveling, while only 39% of males said the same. And travel insurance? Yep, men are more cautious with 46% purchasing insurance for the trips they took in 2020, compared to just over 25% of women. So, men are from Mars and well, you get the point.

We know where they are going, and we’ve looked deeper into how demographics plays a role in travel. But what emerging trends in travel can be found using social media monitoring? Our search queries are revealing…

importance of SA for consumer insight

Bucket List Travel Trends

Brands will want to accommodate safety and other traveler desires if they hope to capture consumer attention.

Social media monitoring reveals budget friendly “backyard” vacations, eco-friendly trips and destinations, and opportunity to enjoy the outdoors are on the rise.


Using social listening to compare these findings, our Bucket List Trends Analysis confirms the above with hashtags of #enjoytheoutdoors and #sustainabletourism trending. And backpack hints at this as well. Consumers are more interested in doing something rather than lounging on a beach with an umbrella in their cup.


Each of the terms above are click-thru capable. For instance, selecting hashtag #enjoytheoutdoors, leads us to this tweet on taking your time and exploring the land around you:


2020 has only encouraged the desire to take in the scenery, as we were all locked inside dreaming of release. It also went a long way to open the eyes of consumers to eco-centric purchases.

In 2018, 87% of travelers wanted to travel more sustainably. That number is sure to increase in the coming year, as consumers are hyper-focused on making a difference with their dollar. In fact, 61% of consumers prefer to support companies that have made public commitments to sustainability goals – and this goes for vacation destinations.

What’s Important to 2021 Travelers?

Our word cloud of attributes highlights key terms that continue to reveal what’s important to 2021 travelers. It’s clear that consumers wish to contribute to sustainability, inclusivity and community while having a safe experience, with an opportunity to camp. So, does this mean “glamping” is too high maintenance? It’s something to explore, for sure!


Understanding your consumers goals, needs and wants as we begin to open doors to travel – even in a COVID-19 world – is critical to hitting the mark. If you’re not utilizing social media monitoring to help reveal these segments and their needs, you’re missing out. And they likely won’t be traveling to your destination any time soon. Reach out for a demo and allow us to help you change that and capture a significant chunk of this eager market!

importance of SA for consumer insight

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