According to a new study released this week by Hilton, 95% of US residents are missing travel right now.


Within this time, it has been found that 188 million North Americans already feel a “travel memory deficit”, leading to greater stress and the feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) on lost or missed out special moments with loved ones. 

Travelling, it seems, is one of the great American pastimes that brings long-lasting joy, with nine in 10 respondents saying that travel memories are the fondest they have. Travel – even more than special occasions or personal achievements – is attributed to creating their most frequently recalled “happy memories”, with the majority of those surveyed also citing that creating these lasting memories is a primary motivation for their trips.

Near or far, travel can be transformative, creating invaluable experiences allowing people to reconnect with one another. This is why 94% of respondents who travel plan to do so once restrictions and limitations are lifted. In fact, two-thirds plan to make travel a priority and plan to take that bucket list trip they have always dreamed of. 

What travel can do …  

  • Happy Travellers: Nearly seven in 10 (69%) of those who travel – equivalent to 134 million Americans – say travel has given them lifelong memories; nine in 10 count travel memories as some of their happiest memories.
  • Memories in the Making: Eight in 10 (80%) travellers will prioritise creating new travel memories when they choose to travel again. 

What kind of trip?

  • Why wait?: Two-thirds vow to quit putting off taking trips on their vacation wish list and make their dream vacations a reality. 66% will quit putting off special trips they have always wanted to take.
  • Relaxation rules: Nearly two-thirds (63%) of those looking to travel again will choose more relaxing travel over adventure travel. 

Where? When?  

  • More frequent, more adventurous: Over one-third of Americans plan to travel more than they previously did once travel restrictions are lifted and 62% will be more adventurous by journeying to brand new places to make travel memories.
  • Planning has begun: A majority are looking ahead to making their next travel memory, with 94% of Americans planning to travel again.
  • It’s the Destination and the Journey: About seven in 10 travellers say their trips have been made memorable by the destination itself.


  • Collecting Travel Memories: Americans say making memories with loved ones is one of the most important reasons they travel (63%), second only to traveling for relaxation.
  • Intangible Travel Benefits: Close to one in two travellers’ trips have given them an appreciation of nature (47%) or a way to take a break from work or study (46%). A similar number (44%) link travel to improved relationships with their friends and family and believe they’ve even gained a feeling of gratitude for what they have in their lives (44%). 

With whom?

  • Travel Buddies are Better: Nearly three in five (57%) Americans who travel believe that the people who accompany them are what make their trips unforgettable.
  • Family fondness: Among a variety of childhood memories, one-third (33%) of Americans remember those about special trips and travel with their family the most often; more than those who think about memories tied to holiday celebrations or even family traditions. 

Interestingly, 54% of those surveyed said travel memories are more important than their favorite piece of jewellery, and 53% say those memories are more important than their smartphone.

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