New Survey Reveals What Americans Are Missing the Most: Travel

According to a new study released Monday by Hilton, 95% of Americans are missing travel right now – are you one of them? It’s not surprising, after six months of restrictions brought on by a global pandemic which led to working and learning from home and little change in scenery … day after day after day. What is surprising though? That within this time, 188 million Americans already feel a ‘travel memory deficit,’ leading to greater stress and the feeling of FOMO on lost or missed out upon special moments with loved ones. 

Traveling, it seems, is one of the great American pastimes that brings long-lasting joy, with nine in 10 respondents saying that travel memories are the fondest they have. Travel – over special occasions or personal achievements – is attributed to creating their most frequently recalled “happy memory,” with the majority of those surveyed also citing that creating these lasting memories is a primary motivation for their trips. As for playing favorites, 54% said travel memories are more important than their favorite piece of jewelry, and 53% say those memories are more important than their smartphone. So, the best way to reclaim your happy? Take a trip!

“Travel is an unstoppable force, and we know consumers are eager to reconnect with the people and places they love,” said Danny Hughes, Executive Vice President and President, Americas, Hilton. “Hilton is ready to welcome guests back with all the assurances they need – best-in-class hospitality, cleanliness and flexibility – to create their new memories whenever they are ready to be out and traveling again.” 

Near or far, travel can be transformative, creating invaluable experiences allowing people to reconnect with one another. This is why a remarkable 94% of respondents who travel plan to do so once restrictions and limitations are lifted. In fact, two-thirds plan to make travel a priority and plan to take that bucket list trip they have always dreamed of. 

What travel can do for you …  

  • Happy Travelers: Nearly seven in 10 (69%) of those who travel – equivalent to 134 million Americans – say travel has given them lifelong memories; nine in 10 count travel memories as some of their happiest memories.
  • Memories in the Making: Eight in 10 (80%) travelers will prioritize creating new travel memories when they choose to travel again. 

What kind of trip?

  • Why wait?: Two-thirds vow to quit putting off taking trips on their vacation wish list and make their dream vacations a reality. 66% will quit putting off special trips they have always wanted to take.
  • Relaxation rules: Nearly two-thirds (63%) of those looking to travel again will choose more relaxing travel over adventure travel. 

Where? When?  

  • More frequent, more adventurous: Over one-third of Americans plan to travel more than they previously did once travel restrictions are lifted and three in five (62%) will be more adventurous by journeying to brand new places to make travel memories.
  • Planning has begun: A majority are looking ahead to making their next travel memory, with 94% of Americans planning to travel again.
  • It’s the Destination and the Journey: About seven in 10 travelers say their trips have been made memorable by the destination itself.


  • Collecting Travel Memories: Americans say making memories with loved ones is one of the most important reasons they travel (63%), second only to traveling for relaxation.
  • Intangible Travel Benefits: Close to one in two travelers’ trips have given them an appreciation of nature (47%) or a way to take a break from work or study (46%). A similar number (44%) link travel to improved relationships with their friends and family and believe they’ve even gained a feeling of gratitude for what they have in their lives (44%). 

With whom?

  • Travel Buddies are Better: Nearly three in five (57%) Americans who travel believe that the people who accompany them are what make their trips unforgettable.
  • Family fondness: Among a variety of childhood memories, one-third (33%) of Americans remember those about special trips and travel with their family the most often; more than those who think about memories tied to holiday celebrations or even family traditions. 

Because almost all (91%) travelers agree hotels help to make a trip memorable, most notably for being able to wake up next to a view, Hilton is here to support those ready to get packing with its Hilton “Double Rewards” global promotion and a Hilton Honors contest giving travelers a chance to win a 10-day dream getaway. Guests can book directly with Hilton through any official Hilton website or call center, the Hilton Honors app, at a Hilton property or through an accredited travel agent. 

With the nation ready to stop dreaming, start planning and travel, Hilton is encouraging travelers to make new memories in one of the nearly 1 million Hilton hotel rooms worldwide.

Click the image below for the full infographic


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