Unsettled Community | State of Travel Report 2020

By: The Unsettled Team

When will the skies be completely back in business? Though we may not be flying, ironically, it is all up in the air. As Hannah Sampson and Natalie B. Compton wrote in the Washington Post, “The wound inflicted by the pandemic on the travel industry is deep, and it hasn’t stopped bleeding yet.” Border closures, public health regulations, temperature checks, and social distancing while on the move hadn’t crossed most of our minds when we packed up our passports less than a year ago, but we are living in a different world today. Yet in the world we used to know, traveling and embracing the unknown was top of mind, and that yearning still remains.  

In late June, we reached out to the Unsettled community to help us shape our future of travel. As travel slowly began to resume, we wanted to hear from you: Where should we go? When should we go? How should we design our trips with the current circumstances in mind? 

We polled over 650 members of our global community, to find out what they thought about the state of travel. Despite all of the uncertainty that has befallen our industry and so many others, we know that we will travel again, and more intentionally than ever before. 

Here are some interesting insights from our collective survey results: 

From 650 Unsettled community members across the globe who filled out the survey, 52% currently live in North America, 17% in Europe, 10% in Africa, 7% in the Middle East, 5% in Central/South America, 4% in Asia, and 2% in Oceania. 

Of all respondents, only 13% responded that they would travel with a group tomorrow, if there were no travel restrictions. 38% anticipate traveling in the next 3-8 months, while 23.7% still say they have “no idea” when they will feel comfortable traveling again, and 15% anticipate it will be 8 months or more. 

Clearly, there’s still a lot of unknowns out there. Some of us are definitely itching to travel today while most seem to be looking out on the horizon to hop on a trip. Unsettled is right there with you. Ready to start planning and hoping for the best.

Q: For these respondents, what might that group trip look like?

 With the necessity of staying close to home for many these days, it’s clear that our community is craving entirely different surroundings. Perhaps our future travels will be even more aspirational and longer term international experiences, a little less often, but much more sacred. Our 30 day retreats have always focused on that kind of slower, intentional travel that allows for cultural immersion and a deeper experience. This is clearly resonating with people these days. 

Q: What length and type of trip sounds most appealing to you?

With more people having the ability to work remotely, and companies like Twitter, Square, and Shopify adopting a work-from-home policy indefinitely, living Unsettled may become more mainstream in the process. 

But to what extent are people able to, and willing to, combine working remotely and traveling in communal experiences around the world? Is this new remote trend going to lead them to embrace long term travel? Or will they want to jump from place to place? Perhaps small groups of remote workers will travel together or whole teams will set up shop for a month at a time? Time will tell. Here’s what our community says about working remotely while traveling…

Q: Do you think your job will allow you to work remotely while traveling over the next 6-12 months? 

An astounding 75% of our community responded yes… 

Q: If you were to travel, would you want to work remotely while traveling?

The responses that you shared show that a new travel trend may be emerging in this new world — longer term and more intentional opportunities where working remotely is possible and accepted. We are eagerly anticipating the day we get to do just that with all of you. 

Lastly, we wanted to know how much COVID and extenuating circumstances were to impact your travel aspirations.  

Q: The biggest factor(s) for me when considering traveling in the next few months would be…

In the meantime, here are two important reminders:

1. “One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” – Henry Miller 

2. And you do not need to travel to live Unsettled! Check out our Global Passport Community – a live, community portal designed to inspire new thinking and expand your network through a highly curated, values-driven community of creatives, entrepreneurs, and remote professionals.


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