Revenge Travel: The 2022 travel trend taking the industry by storm

by | 11 Jul 2022

Travel has bounced back. At the height of the pandemic, we watched with bated breath as the travel industry strained under the pressure of a restricted world. The uncertainty of the future left us stranded for over 2 years, postponing plans and delaying dreams. But now travelers worldwide are rising from the ashes of the pandemic, phoenix-like in their determination to turn 2022 into a year of globetrotting glory. And the phrase being used to describe this energetic return to travel? ‘Revenge travel’.


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Revenge travel is the global phenomenon of people booking big trips to ‘take revenge’ against the pandemic. It could be to make up for lost time, to take that long-postponed trip, or to treat oneself after such a long period of fear and uncertainty. Rory Boland, editor of Which? Magazine defined it as the ‘desire many people have to travel again… after a period that has felt static and dreary’.

It first came into use in 2021, when the world slowly and hesitantly started traveling again. It sounds negative on the surface, even called an “ugly term” by Boland. On the contrary, it connotes a strong, defiant positivity. The ‘revenge’ is aimed at recuperating time lost to the pandemic. Instead of negativity, imagine a valiant defiance, an assertive reclamation of one’s sense of adventure.

This year is for you, revenge travelers.


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Revenge travel relates not only to people’s desire to get up and go, but also how they will do it, and how that compares to past years. Two years of delays mean more money saved, meaning people can spend more than before. Cue the splurge-cation.

According to Expedia, 40% of US travelers are more eager to spend big on their next vacation. 15% want more luxurious experiences, 16% would upgrade their room or flight, and 32% are looking for that once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list location.

Other nations don’t buck the trend. Europ Assistance (EA) released findings from their Holiday Barometer survey, conducted among 15,000 people across 15 countries. They also reported higher travel budgets this year, ‘with average levels increasing around +20%’.


There are, however, many ways to take revenge on the pandemic. While some may go for the splurge-cation, others are taking advantage of a new, changed world.

The professional landscape has ultimately shifted. Remote work is now commonplace, and workers have more flexibility and control over their time.

Many are starting to marry work and travel by adopting a ‘digital nomad’ lifestyle. People are traveling somewhere new and working from their laptops during the day, exploring in the evenings and weekends. They may rent an apartment or stay in a ‘co-living’ accommodation – a kind of hostel particularly catered to remote workers – with communal office spaces, high-speed internet, and social activities. Countries are becoming open to this new kind of tourist, creating specific digital nomad visas, such as in Portugal and Barbados.

So perhaps, revenge travel not only translates into the big splurge-cation, but also the innovative work-cation. To take revenge on the pandemic’s past impediments could be a big luxurious far flung trip, but equally, it could look like a working holiday to a neighboring country, in a city you’ve always wanted to see.


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We asked you, our community, for your own stories on how you’re bouncing back into travel. We heard from Biviano, whose plan to visit the Dolomites in 2020 never came to fruition.

“Finally, two years later in May 2022 I was embarking on that long-anticipated journey. The Sound of Music was the first movie I saw at a theatre. That opening scene with sweeping vistas of mountain and meadows; Julie Andrews appears, arms outstretched singing ‘the hills are alive with the sound of music’ – WOW! That pretty much sums up how I felt during my visit to the Dolomites in the northern Italian Alps.”

Visit the Dolomites on Insight’s Country Roads of Bavaria, Switzerland and Austria tour


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What will a revenge travel 2022 look like? Where will people want to go? It is in fact Europe, this summer, that is leading the way.

Allianz Partners created a ‘Top 10 Summer European Destinations’ review, analyzing more than 40,000 flight itineraries. They found that American travel to Europe will be up 600% compared to last summer.

Two European travel destinations that have surged in popularity, according to Allianz’s list, are Rome and Lisbon. This reflects the increased interest and bookings of our Best of Italy and Amazing Spain & Portugal tours, which show you the very best of these European jewels.

Not only where, but what? The hospitality company Evolve ran a survey to determine what travelers are eager to do this summer 2022. According to their data, ‘consumers are most interested in exploring the outdoors – including hiking, biking, and kayaking – and wellness/relaxation experiences in the coming year.’ On top of this, ‘secluded mountain/rural escapes and waterfront getaways are by far the most popular 2022 vacation experiences’.

Two popular Insight trips that exemplify these trends are the Country Roads of Switzerland and the Best of Ireland & Scotland tours. Both offer abundant natural splendor, with tranquil lakes, rolling hills, and humbling valleys. Those looking for the peace and serenity of nature’s vast open spaces, after years of confined inertia, will find these tours incredibly liberating.

I'm Jay – born in Italy, raised in South London. Having French sisters and Hungarian ancestors, I've always been fascinated with the world and its cultures, and I carry this curiosity into my writing for Insightful. My favourite destinations I've traveled to so far have been Italy, Peru, France and Brazil.