The last several months have brought a level of chaos at airports that consumers aren’t necessarily accustomed to. A drastic snap-back in demand, combined with a leveling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a reopening of borders, has brought long lines to security checkpoints, frustration at airport gates over canceled flights, and more.
To remember why travel is still so important, despite all the chaos, Travel Market Report recently asked readers a simple question—why do you travel? Here’s what they said:
To Trace Your Heritage
Many advisors talking to TMR said that their desire to travel goes back to trace their roots, something that had been trending with the emergence of DNA-testing kits even before the pandemic.
“I love to see new cultures, meet the people, and see how they live. One of my main goals in travel has been to find all the places that my grandparents have immigrated from and meet family through my ancestry findings,” Bonnie Childs of Mukilteo, WA’s Cruise & Travel Experts told TMR.
“I am 39% Scotch and my paternal grandmother was born in Aberdeen. I have been planning that for a while now. Because of COVID, I have had to cancel two times. I grew up on the water, so I also have a strong desire to stay close to the water at all times and that is why I chose my profession of selling cruises for the last 33 years,” she said.
To Follow Your Inspiration
For Dianne Moore, CTC, of Travel More! in Wisconsin, her desire to travel began with all the reading she did growing up.
“I read mostly fiction and historical fiction; stories that were set in many locals around the world. I wanted to see those places close up and personal. And after almost 50 years in the travel business, I have seen many of them. Always new places to visit and explore though,” she said.
For Beth Skypeck, an advisor with AAA Northern New England, travel was a second or third career choice, one that she only arrived at after taking a giant personal leap.
“Being about to get on a plane alone and managing to get where I needed to go was a source of confidence I had never known after my husband died at an early age,” she said.
“Once I started traveling, I realized how important travel is to our world. It opened my eyes to other cultures and people from all over the world. I am always open to learning about new destinations and people because it enriches my life and helps me offer the wonderful world of travel to my clients. My life has been greatly impacted by this industry that I love so much,” she said.
To Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
For so many, pursuing personal growth means getting out of your routine and out of what you’re used to. Taking a journey outside of your comfort zone goes hand in hand with travel.
“I travel to see, taste, and experience new things. I love experiencing new cultures and putting myself out of my comfort zone,” Rachel Peters of St. Louis’ Brentwood Travel told TMR.
"To get out of my day-to-day routine. To meet new people and learn more about them. To challenge myself,” Amy Schwartz of Amy Schwartz in Greensboro, NC said.
Wendy Mercer, from Birmingham, AL’s Classic Travel Connection, told TMR that she travels because “it makes me feel alive.”
“The exhilaration of stepping out of my city, state, or country into another corner of the world gives me such a rush. To converse with people who aren't like me, to learn about their culture, and to connect is an amazing gift. The natural beauty of this world also takes my breath away and I know I am so blessed to be able to take in the many amazing sights that I have seen in my lifetime.”
Other advisors agreed.
“I travel for several reasons. To experience other areas of the world, to see the beauty around us, and to get away from my everyday life, to relax,” Rita Frantz of Rita’s West End Travel in Brodheadsville, PA said.
“I travel to decompress. I travel to meet new people and learn about new cultures. I travel to chase the sunsets. My soul demands I must travel!” Lisa Bates of My Travel Designers in Arkansas told TMR.
“Because it's a big beautiful world and there is so much to see and do. I also believe travel builds understanding of other cultures,” Audrey Kennedy of On the Map Travel in St. Louis said.
“To open up my heart and mind, to satisfy my endless curiosity about the world and people we share it with, to keep me young at heart, to spread kindness,” Cate Caruso of True Places Travels in Vancouver, WA told TMR.
“It is my passion and fills my soul. Meeting people, experiencing new places and activities, and helping me grow like nothing else can,” Gail Sherman of Wine Lovers Travel in California told TMR.
And to Reconnect
For Tim Marquette of Mason Horvath Travel in Vancouver, traveling helps him connect with the world, including cultures he hasn’t seen or experienced before. But it also helps in reconnecting.
“I travel to connect to the world through people, food, culture, art, and history! Every experience changes me and helps me learn and grow to be a better human! In addition, I travel to build upon the relationship with whoever I am traveling with! Every time I travel with my husband, we fall more deeply in love! Every time we travel and see dear friends, we reconnect in a more profound and exciting way! Travel, quite simply, is life-changing in every sense,” he said.
For others, it’s not so much about reconnecting with other people, but about themselves.
“I travel to reconnect spiritually. I travel to feel and experience every moment as valuable time from a chaotic world,” Carletha Moore of Dreams Cruises in Dallas, TX said.