Consumers Navigate 'New Normal' In Travel

After more than two long years of travel restrictions coupled with COVID-19 concerns, people are jumping at the chance to get out and see the world again. 

Horizon Media WHY Group’s latest report, “New Normal News: Travel Edition,” explores how people currently feel about traveling, using its “New Normal Tracker” in conjunction with an additional study focused on “New Normal Travel.”

Each study utilizes a “Finger on the Pulse” panel to check in with nearly 1,000 people ages 18+ nationwide. Additionally, social media conversations and news media content were pulled for greater context.

The report finds that concern about the riskiness of travel has declined, along with a decrease in concern over COVID-19. 



Airlines are experiencing staffing shortages, lowered flight capacity, and astronomical fuel costs, leaving a less than ideal travel experience for those looking to escape. 

And while physical lockdowns have relaxed, they’ve been replaced with a wallet lockdown due to the highest inflationary period in 40 years.  

Even in the face of jarring prices and logistical hassles, people are still finding ways to enjoy adventures, the report finds. Seven in 10 people are planning to travel the same  amount or more than they did pre-pandemic, per Horizon Media. 

Brands can help people deal with the current circumstances, says Horizon Media SVP Cultural Intelligence Maxine Gurevich.

"People are navigating a polarizing tension when it comes to travel -- constantly grappling with going 'all-in' and having to compromise to cut costs because of rising inflation or safety/health concerns," Gurevich tells Marketing Daily. "Brands can help by targeting people when worries are heightened with messages that provide tangible solutions to help travelers navigate these barriers and give them peace of mind that they don’t have to sacrifice cost or health to go 'all-in.'"

For example, Sun Country Airlines is taking strides to alleviate some of the financial strain of travel by teaming up with the buy-now-pay-later solution, Uplift. Through their partnership, travelers can now pay for flights in 3, 6, or 11-month installments.

The report suggests brands learn how to promote experiences that provide a mental break and alleviate pain points.

“Brands can find ways to advocate for people to take time out to rest, relax, and rejuvenate,” according to the report. “Even brands outside of the travel category can use experiential tactics to emulate the restorative nature of travel.”

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