Where to Travel in 2021 and Other Travel Tips: Expedia’s Most Searched Travel Destinations

The year 2020 has not been a typical year for travel, to say the least. Which is why it’s interesting to know the trends, learnings and takeaways that were uncovered by fellow travelers as we all adapted to requirements of the times.

While we may have our travel destinations all planned out early last year, we all soon came to learn how quickly our plans can be changed. It looked like we were not going anywhere for a long time, and international travel was clearly out of the question. Certainly, it had been a year of unprecedented happenings, that even a seasoned traveler may have felt lost with all these new ways of doing things.

Nonetheless, with the various Covid-19 vaccines on the horizon, things are already looking up for travelers and their wanderlust. This year, we can begin to plan on where to travel again.

In its 2021 Travel Trends Report, Expedia Singapore features its biggest travel-related study from 2020, and what travelers can expect in the year ahead. In addition to tapping into its massive database of search and demand data, Expedia also partnered with the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) for a deep dive into the effects of the pandemic on air travel.

ARC’s Travel Tips: Airfare Booking Hacks for 2021

For the past six years, travelers have relied on the Expedia-ARC Travel Outlook Report, which analyses billions of flight segments, to provide insider travel tips and tricks for getting the most out of their flights. And because 2020 packed in a lot of surprises, a new cheat sheet is needed now more than ever.

“It’s no secret that air travel changed this year in ways we have never seen before, but people are still flying, and they will continue to fly. We are keeping a close eye on these changes to help travelers get the most from their journeys,” says Chuck Thackston, Managing Director of Data Science and Research for ARC. “Expedia and ARC are teaming up again to get to the bottom of what’s changed and equip travelers with new trip-planning insights to use when they do fly again.”

row of airplane seats in a flight for an international travel destination
Photo by Douglas O on Unsplash

Based on ARC data, average ticket prices (ATPs) for economy and premium economy international flights originating from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand hit their lowest in January 2020 but have since been on the rebound, peaking in the month of August before tapering down from September.

To get the best deal, travelers need to know when to book for their travel destinations. Here are some travel tips according to information from ARC’s global airline sales database:

  • Best day of the week to book: Book on a Sunday and avoid Fridays to save up to 15%
  • Best day of the week to depart: Tuesday or Thursday to save up to 10%

Expedia Singapore’s Travel Tips: Save on Accommodations on Your Travel Destinations

Based on an analysis of the average daily rates for accommodation bookings made on Expedia Singapore between 1 January and 12 September 2020, booking a Monday night stay and avoiding Sunday night stays could just be your best bet to save on accommodation for your travel destinations.

Where to Travel in 2021: Expedia Singapore’s Most-Searched International Destinations

While international travel plans of Singaporeans were put on hold due to the ongoing travel restrictions, it has certainly not dampened their travel spirits. According to the report, Singaporeans are still looking to travel – both to domestic or international travel destinations – in the coming year.

Most-Searched Travel Destinations for 2021Most-Searched Travel Destinations in 2020Most-Booked Travel Destinations in 2020
1 SingaporeSingapore Singapore
2 TokyoJohor Bangkok
3BangkokBangkok Johor
4 MaldivesTokyo Kuala Lumpur
5 BaliKuala Lumpur Bali
6 SeoulBaliJakarta
7 TaipeiBatam Ho Chi Minh City
9 JohorBintanSelangor
10 PhuketSeoulBatam
Most-searched travel destinations for 2020 and 2021, along with the most-booked travel destinations for 2020

Traveler Priorities and Other Travel Tips for 2021

people in an  international travel airport
Photo by Shashivarman Kolandaveloo on Unsplash

With the lessons offered by the previous year, travel priorities and preferences on travel destinations have definitely changed.

“Covid-19 has influenced the travel mindset of Singaporeans. Not only are they looking to travel to destinations that are closer to home, our data also indicates a bigger emphasis on keeping flexibility, health and hygiene as top priorities when planning and booking travel. As we work towards the resumption of international travel in 2021, there is a need for us to pay closer attention to traveler behaviour, which will be pivotal in rebuilding confidence and trust in travel for Singaporeans to explore the world again in the near future,” said Lavinia Rajaram, APAC Head of Communications, Expedia.

That said, here are what travelers will be looking for in their travel destinations for 2021:

  1. Flexibility isn’t a “nice-to-have”, it’s required: In 2021, flexibility will continue to be top-of-mind for travelers. Luckily, flexibility is now more affordable than ever. Expedia data shows that average daily rates for refundable accommodation bookings were 31% cheaper in 2020 compared to 2019.
  2. Health and safety advancements: In the year to come, concerns about staying safe while traveling will continue to impact every aspect of trip planning, from what type of accommodation to choose, to where to travel, to who to travel with. Since May, nearly 300,000 accommodation partners and travel destinations have added health and cleanliness information on Expedia Singapore, including enhanced cleaning, contactless check-in, social distancing and other guest safety measures.
  3. Majority of travelers booking flights about a month out: According to ARC data, in 2019, the average Singaporean traveler booked flights around 46 days in advance of their departure date, but during the onset of the pandemic, that window shortened to 43 days. The new normal (since August) is just 33 days out – with the average advance purchase dropping below the 35-day mark – and illustrating how travelers have adapted to the rapidly changing environment. However, with airlines eliminating change fees travelers may feel more confident booking further out, knowing they can always change their plans down the road.
  4. Travel bubbles and green lanes to aid in confidence-building: Travel bubbles or green lanes are bilateral arrangements between countries to ease border restrictions and allow quarantine-free travel during the coronavirus outbreak. With the Singapore – Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble paving the way for international travel resumption, travelers can expect similar closely managed travel agreements to allow for consumers to explore travel destinations quarantine free.
  5. Maximising the trip: During the lockdown, many travelers relied on virtual tours and activities to satisfy their wanderlust. But once able to roam again, whether it was just within their own cities or father to international travel destinations, travelers resumed looking to activities as a way to get the most out their trips.

With the COVID-19 situation still evolving around the world, it’s important to stay safe and up-to-date on the latest travel guidance and restrictions. By knowing these travel tips, you’ll be able to make the most of your trips, regardless if it’s for local or international travel destinations.

Find out what to expect, where to travel, how to find flexible travel and other information via the Expedia COVID-19 travel guide.

 To start planning for your next trip, visit Expedia Singapore’s website.