Lack of Travel Is Taking Emotional Toll on People, Survey Finds

Shot of a young woman resting on the sofa at home

If forgoing travel has you a little stressed, you’re not alone. According to the 2020 Amex Trendex, a trend report from American Express, people miss travel so much that it’s taking an emotional toll and affecting their well-being.

On Thursday, American Express released its poll results after surveying 2,000 people nationwide that are considered “general population travelers” with a household income of $70,000 a year or more. The survey found that nearly half (48 percent) of respondents felt that not being able to travel makes them feel “anxious and stressed.” And, three in four consumers (78 percent) noted that traveling is “one of the top activities they miss the most right now.”

But, just because they want to travel doesn’t mean they will. As the report added, just 10 percent of consumers surveyed are planning to travel over the Labor Day weekend.

When the time comes that it’s safe to resume travel, 67 percent of respondents said they’d still keep their travel group small, either traveling within their family or quarantine pod. And once travel resumes, people will also seek out direct access booking options so they can speak to a human about travel restrictions, closers, and what to expect upon arrival. Beyond the ability to talk to a person, travelers also listed flexibility and cleanliness standards as their top priorities.

People are also willing to go on extended vacations if the perks align. And we’re not just talking about a few extra days. According to the survey results, 50 percent of respondents said they’d be willing to move somewhere new for an entire year if “given economic and health incentives.”

Luckily for them, there are a few destinations considering offering exactly that. Take Barbados as the prime example.

In July, Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced the country is considering a 12-month “Barbados Welcome Stamp,” which could allow tourists to spend extended time on the island.

“COVID-19 has presented tremendous challenges to those countries that are tourism and travel dependent and we have reached a position where we recognize that part of the challenge relates to short term travel,” Mottley said. “So, if we can have a mechanism that allows people who want to…take advantage of being in a different part of the world, of the sun, sea and sand, and … a stable society; one that functions well, then Barbados is a perfect place for you to come.”

Now the real question is, who would you invite to come with you on a year-long island getaway?

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