Revenge Travel: How Holiday Revenge Became Something – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) — As more countries reopen their borders to eager tourists, a trendy new phrase has popped up on social media: revenge travel.

The term has been used to describe trips as diverse as family reunions, big vacation trips, and revisits favorite places, leading to a question: so what is it?

“Revenge” generally has a negative connotation that belies the joyful, excited feeling so many people feel when taking their first vacation in over two years.

But the idea of ​​the “vengeance trip” seems to be more about a love of travel than an expectation that a particular destination will make amends. Unless, say, Romania stole your girlfriend from you or Peru fired you from your job, it sounds strange to take revenge in one place.

Perhaps “revenge trip” can be interpreted as revenge on the pandemic or on Covid itself.

Not really. What is it?

“Revenge travel is a media buzzword that emerged in 2021 as the world opened up again and people decided to make up for lost time,” said Erika Richter, vice president of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA).

Part of the problem is that there’s no good way to describe the current travel mood around the globe. “Post-pandemic travel” isn’t entirely accurate, as in many places the pandemic isn’t over yet. Different countries and regions operate on different schedules, with some removing all barriers to entry, while others remain tightly controlled or even closed to foreign visitors.

Richter agrees with the overall sentiment behind the concept, although she doesn’t use the term revenge trip.

“It’s another way of saying, ‘Hey, life is short. I want to book this trip. I want to spend more time with family. I want to connect with humanity and nature. I want to explore the world and look for experiences that make me feel alive.”

She’s not the only one in the tourism industry struggling with how to talk about “revenge travel” as a trend.

“I don’t think the prefix ‘vengeance’ is appropriate to what travel should be about,” said Rory Boland, editor of Which? magazine, tells CNN Travel. He calls “revenge travel” an “ugly term”.

However, he concedes that the phrase is clearly associated with humans.

“I think what it’s trying to capture is a lot of people’s desire to travel again, to see new places and meet new people, after a time that has felt static and bleak.”

The people who do it

Whether or not they use the term “vengeance trip,” many travelers are reporting that they are taking their first major trip since the pandemic began.

One of them is Deborah Campagnaro, who lives in British Columbia, Canada.

She retired from her 30-plus-year job in investment services during the pandemic and was looking forward to spending a big holiday with her husband. The couple took a group trip to Nepal in 2016 to hike the Annapurna Circuit, a challenging trek through some of the country’s highest peaks.

They loved the trip so much that they planned to return to Nepal, this time with a customized itinerary. Pandemic-related closures and weather difficulties meant that they had to be postponed several times. Finally they have confirmed tickets and bookings for September 2022.

Campagnaro and her husband treat themselves to extra time and experiences rather than fancy resort stays. They will stay in Nepal for a whole month and have added a few days in the lake city of Pokhara as a reward.

“That wouldn’t have happened before,” she says of the detour. “We’re just doing it now because we can. It is very, very nice to have a break there after a hike.”

Rhode Island resident Brittney Darcy is also looking forward to a trip sunk by the pandemic.

The 26-year-old has dreamed of going to Paris since she watched her favorite film Sabrina when she was a little girl. But the planned summer 2020 trip with her boyfriend was canceled when Covid broke out.

Now she’s finally rescheduled her dream vacation – but with more stops and some upgrades. Instead of five days in Paris, she spends two weeks abroad in France and Italy.

“I did an overland trip during Covid but it wasn’t enough and I’ve always wanted to go to Paris and Italy and never been there. We’re young and why not?” she told CNN.

The money she saved from not traveling for two years will be used for some holiday upgrades. Instead of stopping in Iceland or Ireland, Darcy and her boyfriend paid more for a direct flight from Boston.

Darcy admits she’d never heard the term revenge trip, but once she heard it, it was a perfect term for her European trip.

“Covid has made me less frugal. We only live once so I might as well spend my money on experiences.”

Make up for lost time

One thing is clear: as vaccines roll out and doors reopen, people around the world are eager to get back on the streets.

Travel booking company Expedia tracks online search data related to travel and tourism. In 2021, the highest increase in average travel search traffic — 10% — was in May, the week after the European Union voted to extend its deal with Pfizer and approve the vaccine for use in adolescents.

Expedia’s survey found that 60% of consumers had plans to travel domestically and 27% internationally in 2022.

And many of these travelers are willing to spend more money on vacations than in the past.

Staying home for two years means some people have saved money and can now treat themselves to a fancier hotel, a first-class airline ticket, or a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Additionally, more and more companies have permanently changed their remote working policies in the wake of the pandemic.

A Pew poll released in February found that 60% of workers with work-from-home jobs said they would work from home all or most of the time once the pandemic was over, if they had the choice.

For some people, working from home doesn’t necessarily mean working from home – it could also mean trying out an Airbnb in another country and spending several weeks there to combine work and travel.

Some destinations openly advertise remote workers. Caribbean islands like Barbados and Anguilla have offered visas specifically for remote workers or “digital nomads” to boost tourism.

So call it “Vengeance Journey” or don’t. Anyhow, it’s evident that people have changed their travel mindset since the pandemic began, and that feeling of “Oh, finally!” has a lot of power to sell airline tickets and hotel packages.

One of the people participating in this trend is Christie Hudson, Expedia’s director of public relations, who worked on the company’s travel survey.

“To be honest, I wasn’t very surprised [by the survey results] simply because the results resonated so closely with my personal attitude,” she says. “During my recent weekend getaway, I booked several spa appointments and upgraded our flights to First Class. I felt like I deserved it.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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Laura Coffey

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