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Vacation Confidence Index 2021: The Multi Micro-cation Trend

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Eager to travel, but don’t have time for one long trip? Embrace the micro-vacation.

One in three (34%) Americans planned multiple short vacations in the summer of 2021, rather than taking the traditional week-long or longer vacation. The average trip length was four nights.

This new travel trends comes from Allianz Partners USA’s 13th annual Vacation Confidence Index, a long-running survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs about Americans’ vacation plans for summer 2021.  

What Is a Micro-cation, and Why Is It Popular Now?  

A micro-cation is simply a trip of four nights or less. This trend was first spotted by Allianz Partners’ research in 2019, which found that more Americans were opting for short trips.

After the stay-home summer of 2020, vacation planning and spending rebounded in summer 2021. Two in three (67%) Americans planned to travel away from home for at least one night, and 44% said they’d seize the first opportunity to take a vacation.

Of that group, just over half said they’d travel more than once in summer 2021, with 22% planning three or more trips. The “multi micro-cation” trend is most pronounced among younger travelers (aged 18 to 34); nearly half of that age group (46%) said they planned to take two or more trips this year.

Why opt for mini-vacations? Some travelers said it was easier to take time off work for shorter periods; some said they only needed a few nights for their trip; and others simply preferred to take more short trips instead of fewer long ones. Money was also a factor, as was the ease of finding a travel companion.1

Allianz - Infographic: Multi Micro-cation Trend

How to Get the Most out of Your Micro-Vacation

The problem with shorter vacations is that they may not give you enough time to fully unwind.

“Employees are often unable to recover sufficiently during short respites from work due to increasingly permeable boundaries between work and home domains, long working hours, working overtime and prolonged physiological activation as a result of pre-occupation with work,” multiple research studies have found.2 And those studies were conducted long before COVID-19, which, for many, completely erased the line between work and home.

The perfect vacation length is at least 8 days, researchers say, because that’s when happiness levels peak. But what if your work schedule or other commitments don’t allow a vacation of that length? That means it’s time to maximize your micro-cation. Try these tips:

  • Study the calendar for opportunities to squeeze in an extra vacation day. Use school holidays and one-day work holidays to extend planned getaways. If you have a Monday off work, consider taking off the following day (instead of the preceding Friday) so you get a four-day vacation and a three-day workweek.

Read more: The 6-Step Plan to Maximizing Your Vacation Time

  • Use a packing checklist. You want to get out the door and be on your way as soon as possible, which means being fully packed and ready the night before you leave. To make sure you bring everything you need, print a packing checklist that fits your plans, whether you’re going on a road trip, a family getaway or a quick cruise.

  • Fly direct. Adding a layover and a second flight increases the chances that a flight cancellation or delay will make you miss your connection, potentially ruining your mini-vacation. Travel delay benefits can help by reimbursing you for reasonable, eligible expenses for meals, accommodation and transportation during your delay.

  • Stay in a central location. Remember, vacation travel doesn’t stop when you get to your destination. You don’t want to waste precious hours of your vacation driving from a suburban hotel to downtown attractions, so it’s worth the extra money to stay where the action is.

Read more: Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Microcation

  • Protect your trips with travel insurance. A travel insurance plan from Allianz Global Assistance can help if you experience a covered trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, medical emergency or other travel mishap. If you — like so many other American travelers — are planning several short vacations, consider buying an affordable annual travel insurance plan such as AllTrips Prime. You get reliable protection for a full 365 days of travel.

AllTrips Prime and other Allianz travel insurance plans now include the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement, which adds covered reasons to select benefits for certain losses related to COVID-19 and any future epidemic. (Benefits vary by plan and are not available in all jurisdictions. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.) Learn more about how the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement may protect your trip.

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