Travel experts: This season can be compared to the legendary summer of the seventies
In the second pandemic summer, travel experts around the world notice changing travel habits and new travel trends. With more and more countries opening up to travelers and tourists, some of them choose to travel abroad not by plane but by car.
A survey by Hertz showed that as much as 80 % of Americans are planning to take a vacation by car. 65 % respondents say car travel seems to them to be the safest way to travel at the moment.
People are rediscovering roadtrips
Car travel began to gain popularity with the mass production of economy-class cars and the parallel development of the road system. Although the first romantics embarked on car trips as early as the 1930s, U.S. residents began commuting on vacation after World War II. They became especially popular in the 1960s, when the whole of America seemed to be on vacation traveling on newly built highways in a variety of models of family-friendly cars and campers. Similar dynamics can be observed in the second pandemic summer, when more and more people around the world choose to travel by car for a vacation.
"Travel experts in the US even compared this pandemic summer to the famous summer of 1965, when the most popular way to relax was by car. This year, this vehicle has been rediscovered by those looking for a safe and exciting vacation with the family. Significant increase in roadtrips is noticeable not only in the USA, but also in Europe and the Baltic States, ”says Neringa Sinkevičienė, DFDS Marketing Campaign Manager.
One third of the Baltic population would prefer a car
A survey of the Baltic population conducted by DFDS shows that more and more people across the region would choose motor vehicles instead of trains or planes to travel abroad. According to Neringa Sinkevičienė, even 36 & Lithuanians, 38 % Latvians and 32 % Estonians surveyed would prefer to choose a car or motorcycle to travel abroad compared to the pre-pandemic period.
"This is fully in line with global trends - to look not only for safe, economical, but also environmentally friendly ways to travel. Although the quarantined aviation sector is recovering and offers opportunities to reach distant points quickly, travellers' moods have already changed - they are also increasingly thinking about the impact of travel on nature. The number of electric or hybrid cars that Europeans embark on ecological holiday trips is increasing on European roads, ”says Neringa Sinkevičienė.
The growing popularity of car travel is also responding to another need for the modern traveller to travel safely, regardless of changing travel restrictions or a pandemic situation. Neringa Sinkevičienė points out that families choose a holiday trip by car in order to limit contacts and at the same time remain independent of inspections and additional requirements that are inevitable when crossing borders by air.
Lithuanians remain the biggest travel optimists
According to Neringa Sinkevičienė, a survey of residents of the Baltic States conducted by DFDS shows that the need for travel and holidays has not disappeared anywhere, and the accelerated vaccination campaign and the Green European Certificate give travellers more optimism.
"We have seen rather sad trends in the winter - most of the respondents said that they do not plan to travel abroad in the next twelve months, but according to the data of June, as many as 40 % Lithuanians and Germans say they plan to travel abroad in the next 3 months, ”says Neringa Sinkevičienė.
The survey shows that the general mood of travellers has also changed - for the first time in the last six months, more respondents, asked from 1 to 10 to assess how safe they feel when traveling abroad, chose 5 and more, i.e. felt more than average safe. According to Neringa Sinkevičienė, this is a very important change, which is especially visible in Lithuania: "One of the three respondents in Lithuania feels safe and safe when travelling abroad - the accelerated vaccination campaign and the growing alternative of safe driving contribute to this."
With more than a month to go before the summer holidays, DFDS notices a growing interest from travellers and increased flows of leisure travellers. Neringa Sinkevičienė points out that ferries are becoming an integral part of safe travel, as they allow travellers to safely reach countries further away from Lithuania by car: in the cabin, limiting contact with other people. At the end of the trip, they get in the car and continue their journey in Western Europe or Scandinavia.