The World is Opening! We’re Looking for Solutions for Planning Vacations
With what seemed to be a blink of an eye, much of the country shifted back into a state of “Normal.” Let’s be real though, normal is boring and us yogis with a case of wanderlust are itching to get on a plane or inside an Airstream to get on some wild adventures. Whether that be hiking through beautiful scenic areas, or taking it easy along the California coast, we’re all ready to get out of the “at home office” and hit that OOO setting on the email. With the travel floodgates about to open, we may wonder what this industry will look like now and how we can find solutions for planning vacations.
One thing is certain, our society thrives on technology that puts the power in the palm of our hands and removes obstacles to securing what we want. That can be a burrito bowl from that one place we all love, hailing a Lyft to safely get to a friend’s house, or even buying a new car. We can now do all this online in the amount of time it takes to check our social media in the morning. When it comes to travel, I was thinking about how we plan trips and take the guesswork out of organizing logistics and ensuring all the fine details are handled without issue. That can be overwhelming! Most travel websites simply allow you to book flights, hotels, and car rentals but the bulk of the work still rests on us. If this isn’t a well-deserved staycation, I’m probably looking to carve out a whole afternoon to plan out, make calls, click around and hopefully figure out a game plan that doesn’t make me want a vacation…from planning a vacation.
Luxury Travel Hackers Offers Inspiration and Solutions
I recently spoke with Gary Kohn, co-founder of Luxury Travel Hackers, who was the inspiration for this article. We spoke about the travel industry, influencers and what the future holds for all generations who are excited about vacation planning. Obviously, most of us aren’t using traditional travel bookers, those types tucked away in “Better Call Saul” style shopping centers, and from my personal experience as a millennial it’s been frustrating trying to book entire vacations with a busy work and family routine. His company has created a unique solution, which he simply describes as “making vacations bookable via social media from custom content.” If my generation is looking for travel ideas on social media, I can only imagine that younger generations are strictly relying on the suggestion of social channels, influential blogs, and of course top tier travel influencers who have actually taken these dream vacations.
How we Choose Destinations
Gary dropped a ton of insight on my lap. He said, “We’ve seen the average traveler shift into booking all travel via the web over the past 10-15 years. Younger social media users are unsure where to go next, so they jump on Instagram and Facebook to get inspiration and ideas.” Just as social media users use the platform to decide what to eat, buy or even drive, there is a revolution coming in travel where influencers will overtake traditional marketing and advertising to dictate where the best places to visit and explore rest. We have seen this with popular exotic locations like Ibiza, Bora Bora, the Caribbean and even close to home destinations around the US and coastal states. Even more popular US destinations geared towards spiritual/nature enthusiasts like Sedona have become even more popular thanks to the power of social media, influencers, and our immediate network of friends. In time, they begin to attract the novice traveler who is just looking for suggestions on where to go.
What I enjoy about Luxury Travel Hackers is that they send influencers on specific trips, produce amazing travel content, and make the adventures available on Facebook and Instagram for us to view like regular social media users. I can then click on that content to jump one step into booking that trip and letting the company do all the work for me. This is what the future is all about, removing steps, suggesting travel destinations and doing it in a way that is in service to the user instead of taking on the format of old school banner advertising and TV commercials. Last time I watched Netflix, I sure wasn’t seeing any commercials for Hawaii getaways or Euro vacations on a cruise ship.
From Inspiration to Action for Vacations
“Most of the US will continue to book their vacations via Expedia and their favorite airline’s website. What I see shifting in behavior is how users prefer to get their ideas for travel and what will provoke taking action to plan that trip,” Gary tells me while trying to stay realistic about the state of the industry. I agree that after the wild year that was 2020, people are excited to travel again. We are all looking for inspiration and platforms to support making traveling easy, fun, and safe. As I ease into exploring my next getaway, I realize that where I choose to travel is indeed coming off the influence of social media and those I choose to surround myself with. Now I have to just choose where to go next!
Bob Bradley has spent the past 14 years as a public relations and marketing professional, telling the stories of hundreds of clients in multiple industries. He has owned and has been aligned with multiple growth phase startups, in addition to working for established brands and agencies. Bob is also a musician and writer, recently releasing his first book Public Relations For Musicians and announced his follow-up book Public Relations For Small Businesses for a Summer 21′ release.