Travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth has identified the top five biggest US traveller behaviour changes that it saw in its customers in 2018.
The first trend saw travellers spend less on trips. Squaremouth pinpoints the overall sluggishness of the economy as a possible reason for the three-per-cent drop in overall spend on an average trip – the first time this has decreased in six years. However, more travellers in 2018 chose to protect their trip costs by purchasing travel insurance, and there was a 28-per-cent increase in cancellation-style policy sales.
Another change in 2018 was that more US travellers holidayed within North America. After the US itself, the top destinations for US travellers were Mexico, Italy and Canada. Squaremouth points out that this may be because the cost to travel to these destinations has decreased by an average of five per cent over the last year.
This year also saw travellers grow more and more concerned with the possible disruption of a trip by weather and natural disasters. The number of travellers who bought travel insurance in 2018 specifically for weather or a natural disaster increased by thirteen per cent over the last year, while weather disruption overtook terrorism as the top trip cancellation concern.
Despite these worries, travellers – especially millennials – are heading to destinations that offer cultural and historical experiences over traditional locations. Travel to Egypt, Morocco and Japan all greatly increased over 2018, with a rise of 144 per cent, 73 per cent and 47 per cent respectively. There was also a 65-per-cent increase in the number of millennials travelling overall.
Finally, Squaremouth charted the rise in popularity of cruise holidays. The number of travellers buying cruise insurance in 2018 rose by 22 per cent, continuing an upward trend for the sixth year in a row. The number of travellers over 70 years old taking cruises has also doubled since last year, followed closely by Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials.