Faye survey reveals Americans’ top travel nightmares

US / Israel: Digital travel insurance startup Faye Travel Insurance has released its latest survey findings regarding what 2,000 American travellers fear most this season and how they are planning for the future of travel. 

With respondents spread out across the country, results indicate that consumers are continuing to travel and spend on travel even given economic uncertainty and rising prices – all while navigating the frustrations that come along with the busy season.

US travellers’ biggest nightmare: overly chatty passengers 

Americans’ number one worry while on a trip is being placed next to an overly chatty passenger. The next five top nightmares after that are: paying expensive travel prices; having a flight cancelled or overbooked; dealing with massive delays; missing a flight or layover; and sitting near crying children.

And though travellers are concerned, it is not holding them back from booking trips.

The wild travel climate has brought out the planner in all of us 

Given the overwhelming amount of travellers driving up prices and snapping up accommodations and flights this summer, Americans are planning their travels far in advance. With autumn / fall and winter around the corner, 68 per cent of respondents say they plan to travel for the holiday season [Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve], with 50 per cent of them intending to travel to international destinations.

And these are not going to be short stays. The majority [53 per cent] said they plan to make these holiday getaways around seven days.

The holidays aren’t all they’ve planned for: almost 34 per cent of Americans have already planned their 2024 spring break trip while 70 per cent said that they intend to travel for their birthday next year.

With the intent to travel higher than ever before, survey respondents shared how they like to best plan their trips.

Travellers prefer human help over a virtual assistant & are relying on socials for trip planning

Travellers are increasingly relying on ChatGPT and other AI tools to help them quickly plan getaways, but about 23 per cent of travellers prefer a human travel agent. 18 per cent prefer to rely on a virtual travel assistant and 51 per cent want both. That said, eight per cent of travellers are not interested in either and just want to plan their trips themselves.

When it comes to social media, Instagram is the number one social media platform of choice for trip planning. About 28 per cent of American travellers say they rely on this social platform the most for planning travel [over other platforms including Facebook and TikTok].

Price is top of mind for those who are, and are not, traveling this coming holiday season 

61 per cent of Americans said they are unable to travel this coming holiday season because they cannot afford to spend money on travelling, showing that concerns over inflated prices, job security and economic uncertainty remain.

For those who plan on travelling for the coming winter or autumn / fall, budget is top of mind.

65 per cent of them expressed that they are trying to keep their trips under $5,000 with the average cost for a holiday vacation sitting at $4,700. A majority of respondents [53 per cent] reported that they will spend around $2000 – $4,999 on their holiday trip, keeping within the average cost range.

Americans don’t want to “play it safe on vacay”

Travel is not a luxury, it is an expectation, which is part of the reason why consumers are looking to kick things up a notch and add more spice to their time away from home.

85 per cent of Americans are open to extreme tourism activities. 46 per cent want to base jump on vacation, 42% would go storm chasing, 41 per cent would cage dive with sharks, 32 per cent would go caving, and 27 per cent would go volcano boarding.

The activity they are least inclined to try? A private submarine tour [though nine per cent of American travellers are willing to try it].

That said, 13 per cent want no part in extreme travel activities like these.

Elad Schaffer, co-founder and CEO of Faye Travel Insurance, said: “According to our latest survey, American travellers are only kinda informed on what their travel insurance covers them for. A whopping 40 per cent note that they are just “somewhat knowledgeable” on how the travel insurance they buy protects them.

“That’s why more modern insurance providers, like Faye, have hit the scene with coverage that’s human-friendly to read and understand, as well as comprehensive enough to cover travellers’ entire trip. We’re in the business of offering travellers holistic, digestible trip protection, rather than fancy-named, confusing packages that offer partial protection,” he added.

Faye closed a $10 million Series A funding round in May, just a year after launching its product in the United States, bringing the company’s total funding to date to $18 million.

Gal Levy, head of engineering at Faye, will join industry leaders at the inaugural STRz Summit in London on Wednesday 18 October, when she will speak on ‘Pitch battle: Tech it out’.

See the full event agenda here and book your tickets now at this link.

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