How Happiness Can Come From Planning Future Travel
The past few months of the coronavirus pandemic have been rough going. The
During these difficult times during the coronavirus pandemic, life has been harsher than ever before. The situation has forced us to stay home more often than we were used to and disconnected us from human interaction. One of our best coping methods, travel, has been lost, and things can feel hopeless. But recent research shows that just planning for a future trip can help boost our emotions, spirit and give us hope for the future.
A US-based survey conducted on August 21st-24th of 2020 commissioned by a travel company group revealed that having a trip planned for the future helps with happiness. 71% report having more energy when they have a trip planned for the next six months.
According to happiness researcher Michelle Gielan, founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research, who oversaw the study, "Booking a trip—even just getting it on the calendar—might be the very thing we need to restore our emotional immune system after months of mounting uncertainty and stress."
It seems to stand true for many of our friends, co-workers, and family. "Definitely. It's something to look forward to, much like a light at the end of the tunnel. It gives me something to focus on during these difficult times," says Iris Zhang, UrbanCred's Customer Specialist. "Especially since I had a Disney trip scheduled earlier this year in April, but instead of canceling the trip, I pushed it to April 2021. So not just any trip but a trip to Disney? I'm super excited, and as time gets closer to the departure date, I start to think about planning more in detail about where to go and what to do."
Iris isn't the only one having trip planning as motivation to keep moving forward. A friend of ours Zach Davis has admitted that travel planning was something that helped him through too. " I don't have too much available cash on hand to plan a big trip, so I actually plan shorter trips locally. So whether it's hiking or camping upstate New York or visiting outlets like Woodbury, where it's easier to social distance, it allows for little pockets of joy during these turbulent times."
Inspiring travelers to dream and start planning again
These surveys have prompted travel companies to come together to help inspire would-be travelers to start dreaming of future trips or even begin to plan for future journeys. Dubbed "Let's Go There", the alliance comprises more than 75 partners, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Disney, Enterprise, Expedia, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and United Airlines, among many others. The alliance comprises more than 75 organizations and has committed to encourage and promote travel planning through the social media tag #LetsMakePlans.
The hope is that with the newest changes to the travel world, filled with flexible travel options such as removing changing fees and lenient cancellation policies. Also, attractive deals and packages to encourage people to start making up for lost travel time.
There is much at stake for everyone in the industry. The travel world has changed so drastically by the coronavirus pandemic that more than one-third of Americans who worked in the travel sector had their jobs lost since March. Everyone has hopes that travel demand will return, and when it does, travelers and workers' health and safety are one of many keys to restoring confidence.
96% stating that traveling while feeling safe would bring peace of mind, and 74% said that planning a trip would help them feel more in control of these uncertain times.
Finally, for UrbanCred's founder Edward Wang, planning a big trip was something to keep him busy and hopeful. "Being in the house constantly was like banging my head against the wall. So in the middle of all that, to save my wall from caving in, I just started to imagine where I would be happiest. And that place was Japan. So I would start planning for a trip, knowing that even if I can't go right away, I'll have something ready so when I do have time to go, I can book and start right away. Just be prepared in that aspect has helped a lot. That and Netflix."