REVENGE TRAVEL

Seek your Revenge

Why you should, and how you can.

WORDS ARIANNA AMBRUTIS

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Are you ready for that long-anticipated vacation? While doing some research, you may have come across the term ‘Revenge Travel,’ as it's been trending since the start of the year.

You're probably wondering why people seem to be using it so casually when revenge isn't always so cavalier? Really, the concept is to seek revenge on the postponement of travel. To enact their revenge, people want to go on extra trips or splurge a little more than they typically would because they've been deprived of travel for so long. Meaning, those with delayed travel plans will start to explore with a vengeance as soon as they can.

The reason everyone wants to travel seems to be obvious, but what does revenge travel even look like? Top people from across the travel industry share their insights on why the sentiment for revenge travel is so strong.

Uniworld European cruises of two weeks or longer are up more than 30 percent.

La Venezia Grand Suite on a Uniworld Boutique River Cruise.

Maria Theresa Sundeck on the SS La Venezia with Uniworld.

Ellen Bettridge, CEO and President of Uniworld River Cruises says people are not only ready to travel, she says "they want to go big on their return into the world."

In fact, in April, a 10-night US$7,000 per person European cruise for 2022 sold out within 24 hours. Then in May, a 46-night trip to nine countries, aboard five luxury super ships generated similar interest.

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“Get back out there and explore the world once again.”

Travelers not only want to leave their own zip code, but they're also prepared to spend more on their next trip. Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold President, Guy Young, notes that he sees the same trend towards more and more people "going big." Since people haven't been able to travel for over a year, Young says they're "ready to splurge on longer and more luxurious vacations."

With vaccines rolling out and borders reopening, Bettridge says she’s also noticing an increased interest in Europe. However, she reasons that guests will be willing to travel to just about anywhere to "get back out there and explore the world once again."

The Wild and Great Outdoors

Lucille Sive, CEO of The Travel Corporation's African Division, believes there's a ton of pent-up demand from travelers who are tired of being at home and have been dreaming and saving up to travel to exotic destinations. "For our clients who have postponed, they're adding more experiences and upgrading their accommodations to make up for lost time. Our clients want to get out, see, hear, and feel Africa." Bucket list moments like seeing the gorillas in Rwanda are the sort of revenge travel experiences people are booking.

Baobab Treehouse at Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana.

Image: Adriaan Louw

Vice President of the Automobile Club of Southern California, Filomena Andre, says that vacations in the great outdoors are also trending. "Getting out into nature has increased in interest, not only because it had the greatest appeal during the pandemic; ample spaces, beautiful scenery, and ability to provide social distancing, but also because travelers have had the opportunity to contemplate and appreciate what nature has to offer."

Andre notes that while people are staying a bit closer to home right now, that will change. "Destinations like Hawaii, Mexico, Caribbean, and the US are top sellers, but more people will gravitate toward destinations that open, such as Europe and Alaska, as the recovery progresses."

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve in West Virginia has the wide open space that travelers are craving.

Image: Brand USA

What Else is New?

There's no denying travel won’t be the same as it was pre-pandemic. So, what will travelers be seeking other than open spaces?

According to Uniworld's Bettridge, exceptional service and a bit of luxury will top the list of post-pandemic desirable. "After this chaotic year, there's no need to take on any additional stress. Travelers want that taken care of for them, and that's why boutique river cruises have proved so popular."

Purposeful travel is also on the rise. Travelers want an authentic experience and to "give back" as much as possible.

“The saying that ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone’ is pretty relevant here”

Because of the pandemic, they're looking to support communities where they can. People are looking to travel with this in mind and want their travel dollars to be a force for good. They want to travel sustainably, go places that help preserve cultures, and make genuine connections again.

People are also looking to get out and enjoy their destinations at a much slower pace. After all, most of us aren't rushing around these days. Having the option to travel at a more leisurely pace is just what these travelers are looking for in order to really immerse themselves. People who want to go at a slower pace want to travel to single-country destinations, take it easy, and spend more time exploring.

Rolling back the clock

People are anxious to catch up on lost time, and travelers are looking to get away with their friends and/or family more than ever. With the lack of connection and much-missed quality time, there's even more desire to spend time together, no matter the destination.

Allison Villasenor, Managing Director of Travel and Product Innovation for AAA Northeast, says, "The saying that 'you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone' is pretty relevant here. It's safe to say that many of us took traveling for granted, assuming we'd likely experience a new place or two each year. The pandemic brought about a pause that grounded us, and now that we can move around again, we're more ready than ever."

In the end, vengeful or not, Villasenor says that ultimately travel is about wanting to reconnect, "Travelers are seeking unique experiences that they can share with their loved ones while reconnecting with the world."

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Take Back Your Vacations for the

Ultimate Travel Revenge

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Go big on your return into the world

Looking to travel in ultimate luxury and have a truly epic adventure? To really “go big,” set sail for 46 days from Cairo to Lisbon. You’ll cross two continents and nine countries as you visit Egypt, the Mediterranean, the Alps, Central Europe, and Northern France all on one trip. Each of the five ships of this journey is designed to reflect the destinations it sails, from the Nile to the breathtaking Douro River Valley. Since it’s going to be one for the scrapbook, this adventure includes all the luxury trimmings possible, as well as meticulously crafted experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

THE TRIP TO TAKE


A completely unique experience

If you’re ready for a voyage that is both fascinating and rewarding, travel to Vietnam and Cambodia, two of the friendliest countries in the world. The best way to see both countries is to visit local villages along the mighty Mekong River. Plus, you can see it all on the Mekong Jewell, the newest and most luxurious ship on this famous stretch of water. When looking for a completely unique experience, you’ll want to visit the legendary Angkor Wat, “City of Temples,” and the largest religious structure in the world. The best way to take it all in is to spend several exhilarating days exploring the city in all its mystery and beauty while learning about the ancient civilization that built it.

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Go wild in style

For a real adventure in unreal style, dial up your vacation in Botswana. The best way to see it all is to stay in idyllic locations at intimate safari camps that draw on decades of safari heritage. Pull up a front-row seat to nature’s theatre and take in striking scenery and wildlife in pristine and unspoiled wilderness areas. You might have a close encounter with a meerkat, you can glide silently down the waterways of the Okavango Delta on a mokoro canoe, or take in the incredible aerial views of wildlife from a small bush plane. These are bucket list moments, and the adventure is yours for the taking.

THE TRIP TO TAKE


Take time to explore the great outdoors

Enjoy complete serenity and traverse across Canada by train! You’ll see some of the world’s most spectacular national parks, glaciers, and historic villages while traveling aboard the famous Rocky Mountaineer. Of course, you’ll want to spend time in the beautiful Banff National Park. Canada’s oldest park has graced many postcards as the scenery is truly unbelievable. Visit Whistler, where pristine snow meets style, and keep an eye out for famous skiers who call these hills home. For those who love slow travel and total luxury, this Canadian adventure is sure to please.

THE TRIP TO TAKE


Support the art community in Italy

Over the last few centuries, Italian artists have made a significant mark on history. From Michelangelo's David to Murano Glass, it's no wonder Italy is home to some of the world's most fantastic art today. On this journey, you'll revel in Renaissance artworks from Rome to Florence. There's a Murano Glass workshop in magical Venice where artisans create delicate works using rare traditional practices, that date back to the 15th century. There are precious few masters of the craft left, and those at this workshop are teaching a new generation. They'll share their artistry with you, and your visit helps to support the workshop and the survival of this traditional craft.

THE TRIP TO TAKE


Splurge, you deserve it

You’ve been waiting for it, and it’s time to take that perfect trip. It’s more than worth it to splurge on the ultimate vacation traveling on both luxury trains and boutique ships. For a truly relaxing, renewing, and all-inclusive trip, there’s no better way to go. If you’re looking for absolutely everything, here’s the vacation you’ve been dreaming of. From the lagoons of Venice, cruise down the coast of Italy on the most fashionable of ships. Then, prepare to unwind even more as you step aboard the deluxe Golden Eagle Danube Express. This exclusive rail line offers just the ticket to round out your five-star trip. With captivating views of turquoise coastlines, Alpine lakes, and traditional towns, you really can relax and watch the world go by from your ever-changing window seat.

THE TRIP TO TAKE


Step back in time

If you’ve always wanted to walk among Egypt’s pyramids, temples, and treasures, there’s never been a better time. This ancient land of the Pharaohs is home to perhaps the most famous archaeological discovery of all time, Tutankhamun’s treasures, and this year is the first time you can take in all 5,000 objects found inside the tomb. The new and much-anticipated, Grand Egyptian Museum, is the first museum to feature all of the remarkable artifacts under one roof. Plus, when it comes to Egypt, who better to lead the way than your very own Egyptologist? Explore the Valley of the Kings together, as they help you unlock the mysteries of the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. You’ll leave Egypt with a camera full of photos of temples, tombs, and sphinxes, and the memories of a lifetime.

THE TRIP TO TAKE


Take in the natural wonders Down Under

Can you picture yourself in a land far away, standing in front of some of the world's most spectacular natural wonders? If you're not already, you should be planning your next revenge travel vacation to Australia and New Zealand. Here you’ll visit sacred Aboriginal lands, the 500-million-year-old sandstone monolith of Uluru, as well as the Great Barrier Reef. There's the red desert of the Northern Territory and some of the best surfing beaches on the planet. In New Zealand, you've got the majestic southern spots of Milford Sound and Queenstown, both frequently chosen as film locations. When you’re standing on top of Coronet Peak or the Remarkables Ski Resort, it's not hard to see why.

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An expedition through the Amazon

Peru promises rainforests, wildlife, jungles, adventure, famous rivers, and ancient civilizations. A Peruvian expedition on the Amazon River might be just what you need when it comes to getting out in the world again. There’s jungle walking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, exploring, and more. One of the ultimate ways to stretch your legs is to take a trek to the world-famous Machu Picchu. The site has been a must-see since its rediscovery in 1911. It has fascinated historians, archaeologists, and visitors for years, and now the opportunity is yours. What are you waiting for?

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Reconnect in Africa

Of all the destinations to create shared travel stories with those you love, Africa surely must be at the top. The continent moves travelers in ways nowhere else does. Spend some genuine quality time together on guided game drives as you search with your companions for elephants, giraffes, lions, rhino, mountain zebra, and oryx. For those looking to support wildlife and local communities, on this journey, you can help to protect the black rhino and connect with the Himba people, one of Africa's last truly nomadic tribes. From bushwalks to nights sleeping under the stars, there's no better place to make new memories with your loved ones.

THE TRIP TO TAKE


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