2021 Travel Trends: The Most of Up-to-Date Stats Show the Top Travel Destinations, Trip Costs, and More

Younger generations more likely to take micro-cations while older generations spend more per trip.

My friend Paige, who works for Seven Corners, a leading travel insurance and specialty benefits company, always has the latest. This time she shared the most up to date data available about travel trends in 2021. For those who want to know, it’s fascinating to delve into what last year revealed in terms of travelers’ purchasing habits, how their age influences behavior, average trip cost, and top travel destinations. Recently Seven Corners gathered all the relevant information needed to show the following key trends for 2021.

Buying patterns for travel insurance vary according to the age of the purchaser. Travelers who buy direct from the website, as opposed to using a licensed travel insurance agent, tend to skew almost eight years older, with the average age of a website purchaser at 42 and the average age of consumers who use an insurance agent at 50. This preference for older consumers to seek assistance for a travel insurance purchase is the highest for 66 and older, with this age group representing almost 20% of plans sold by insurance agents. 

Additionally, older consumers typically spend more for trips, with the average trip cost increasing for each generation starting with millennials. Younger baby boomers spend an average of 45% more than millennials. The over 66 age group spends even more, averaging 76% more on trip expenses than millennials. The average trip cost for millennials is $1,843, and the average trip cost for those 66 and older is $3,243.

Micro-cations have increased in popularity

Based on policies sold by Seven Corners, micro-cations grew in popularity in 2021, with a 74% increase compared to 2019 and a 66% increase compared to 2020. A micro-cation is defined as a vacation of less than five nights. These short trips are especially popular with millennials, with 30% of their insured trips being five days or less in length. Generation X and Generation Z follow next with micro-cations representing 20% and 19% of their vacations, respectively. This trend with baby boomers is drastically different, with micro-cations representing only 12% of their insured vacations.

Destinations for micro-cations have changed, mainly due to the influence of COVID-19 and resulting travel restrictions. In 2021, Turks and Caicos was the No. 1 micro-cation destination, and it was the most popular option for all generations except travelers 66 and older, who favored Mexico as their first choice for travel. Millennials preferred Turks and Caicos, choosing it for 61% of their international micro-cations. Turks and Caicos was not in the top 30 most popular destinations pre-pandemic; this change represents a significant shift for travelers.

Mexico was the second most popular travel destination in 2021, falling from No. 1 in 2019. Costa Rica was the third most popular location in 2021, jumping from 15th place in 2019. Micro-destinations that lost favoritism include Canada, Puerto Rico, Ireland and the United Kingdom, which all fell from the top 10 spots, most likely due to the restrictions resulting from COVID-19.

 Introduction to Interruption for Any Reason (IFAR)

From 2019 to 2020, the travel insurance industry saw a large increase in consumer preference for Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR), as travelers learned it is the only option to cancel a trip due to fear of travel. While this helps travelers before they depart on a trip, it does not address a similar need that could arise while traveling.

 To provide a similar option to consumers for unexpected events that can occur during a trip, Seven Corners added a new benefit, Interruption for Any Reason (IFAR), to their trip protection product line in early 2021. To date, the adoption rate is strong, with a little more than 17% of direct consumers choosing to add it to their purchase.

 Generationally, Seven Corners sees that IFAR is most popular with millennials and Generation X, each having adoption rates of 26% and 28%, respectively. The addition is least popular with baby boomers, who have an adoption rate of only 12%.

For more detailed information on purchasing travel insurance to cover COVID-19, Seven Corners has information on the coverage provided by their RoundTrip products related to potential quarantine considerations. To learn more about how Seven Corners’ travel medical and trip protection products address the continuing impacts of the pandemic, visit their specific Coronavirus page.

About Seven Corners

Founded in 1993, Seven Corners, Inc. is an innovative and service-focused travel insurance and specialty benefit management company that serves a global market. Based in Carmel, Ind., the company offers a variety of customized travel insurance solutions to domestic and international travelers. Seven Corners also administers benefits for U.S. government programs.

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season: Tips From Seven Corners Travel Insurance

If you’re planning to travel anytime between June 1 and Nov. 30, it’s crucial to be prepared for hurricane season says Jeremy Murchland, President of Seven Corners, an innovative and service-focused travel insurance and benefit management company serving a global market with headquarters in Carmel, Indiana.

“In order to protect you and your family from the uncertainties of hurricane season, it’s important to plan ahead. At Seven Corners, we stress purchasing travel insurance that allows you to cancel or interrupt your trip due to weather-related reasons,” continues Murchland.

Hurricanes are nature’s most powerful and dangerous storm, and they can cause storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, high surf and rip currents, severe property damage and death. According to the National Weather Service, on average, 12 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes, form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico during this time. This year’s hurricane season is predicted to be more active than usual, with the latest outlook by The Weather Company predicting an increase in the number of storms expected.

The company’s RoundTrip Choice plan includes benefits for cancellations and interruptions due to several weather-related reasons described below. 

Trip Cancellations
If you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason, benefits can be paid to reimburse you for your unused and nonrefundable prepaid trip payments, and the plan’s Frequent Traveler Reward Benefit reimburses the cost to re-bank frequent flyer miles. 

Located north of the capital St George’s in the Caribbean island of Grenada.

Trip Interruptions
If you must interrupt your trip due to a covered reason, benefits can be paid to reimburse you for your unused and nonrefundable trip payments for your travel arrangements plus the additional transportation costs for you to: 

  • Join your trip if you must depart after your scheduled departure date or travel via alternate travel arrangements; or  
  • Rejoin your trip from the point where you interrupted it to the next scheduled destination; or
  • Travel to your originally scheduled return destination.   
Photo by Erika B on Unsplash,

Covered Reasons for Canceling or Interrupting a Trip Due to Weather
There are four covered reasons that provide coverage if you must cancel or interrupt your trip due to weather, including:

  1. Inclement weather, including a hurricane, causes complete cessation of your common carrier’s services for at least 48 consecutive hours. A common carrier is an airline, cruise line or any land transportation with a valid license to transport passengers for a fee (excluding taxicabs or rented, leased or privately owned motor vehicles). 
  2. You or your traveling companion’s primary residence (for trip cancellations) or scheduled destination accommodations (for both cancellation and interruptions) become uninhabitable and remain uninhabitable during your trip or are inaccessible within 30 days of your scheduled departure date due to a natural disaster, including a hurricane.Coverage for a hurricane applies only if you buy the plan before the hurricane becomes a named storm. Review your plan document for more details about this coverage, which applies only if you bought the plan during the Time Sensitive Period*.     
  3. Your scheduled trip departure city or destination is under a hurricane warning or watch issued by the NOAA Hurricane Center within 24 hours of your scheduled departure date. For Trip Cancellation coverage to apply for this reason, you must cancel your trip more than 14 days after the date your trip cancellation coverage begins.
  4. Due to a natural disaster (including a hurricane), local government authorities at your scheduled trip departure city or scheduled destination order a mandatory evacuation, which prevents you from traveling to/arriving at your scheduled trip departure city or scheduled destination. For Trip Cancellations, this applies only if you bought the plan during the Time Sensitive Period*.

The covered reasons for Trip Cancellation coverage are not identical to the covered reasons for Trip Interruption coverage, and additional terms apply to all covered reasons. 

Jeremy Murchland

Cancel for Any Reason
If you would like the option to cancel your trip for any reason of your choosing, consider purchasing the optional Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) benefit.  

It will increase the price of your plan and will reimburse you for up to 75% of your nonrefundable prepaid trip costs if you do the following:

  • Cancel your trip two days or more before your trip start date (scheduled departure date),
  • Buy a plan with CFAR coverage during the Time Sensitive Period* and
  • Insure the full cost of subsequent travel arrangements within 15 days of paying for them. An example of a subsequent travel arrangement could be adding an excursion to your cruise after you had previously paid for the cruise.

Missed Tour or Cruise Connection
A Missed Tour or Cruise Connection benefit can pay you if you miss your cruise or tour departure because your arrival at your destination is delayed for three or more hours due to covered reasons, including weather. These reasons include: any delay of a common carrier (airline, cruise line, etc.) or a documented weather condition, like a hurricane, that prevents you from getting to your point of departure.

This benefit can pay for additional transportation costs to join your trip and reasonable expenses, such as accommodations and meals. 

Other Ways to Protect Your Trip
Along with purchasing travel insurance, I’d also recommend taking the following actions in your travel planning:

  • Act quickly. If there is a hurricane headed toward your location, evacuate in accordance with local evacuation guidelines as soon as possible. Call your airline if you are flying and try to schedule the next available flight home.
  • Be alert. Pay attention to the local weather and stay on top of potential storm activity. Be aware that hurricanes can change course or become more intense without much warning. It is important to be as prepared as possible.
  • Keep important information on hand. Always keep a list of important phone numbers written down in case you need to make an emergency phone call and cannot use your personal cell phone. Additionally, keep a copy of your travel protection plan and ID card available for reference so you know what type of coverage you have. Reach out to your insurance company with any concerns. Physical documentation is key if you suddenly do not have internet access.

To learn more about how travel insurance can protect you as we head into hurricane season, visit sevencorners.com.

*The Time Sensitive Period means the plan must be purchased within 20 days of the date your initial payment or deposit for your trip is received and within 15 days of payment for subsequent travel arrangements you add to your trip.

Please note: The plans also contain non-insurance Travel Assistance Services provided by Seven Corners, Inc. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions. Insurance coverages are subject to the terms, limitations and exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

CA DOI toll free number: 800-927-4357. MD Insurance Administration: 800-492-6116 or 410-468-2340. The cost of your plan is for the entire plan, which consist of both insurance and non-insurance components. Individuals looking to obtain additional information regarding the features and pricing of each travel plan component, please contact Seven Corners, Inc. Carmel, IN 46032 USA 1-800-335-0611, 317-575-2652, 317-818-2809 or contact CUSTOMERSERVICE@SEVENCORNERS.COM.

Cover image courtesy of Photo by Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash.