Aside from having to spend most of the day, every day, indoors, one of the most significant alterations to our Western lifestyle resulting from the coronavirus crisis, has been the almost complete shut down of our insatiable wanderlust. The travel biz, battered and bruised, has subsequently been seeking to understand just what its business is going to look like in six months, one year, and in the longview.
Most surveys are revealing pretty much what you’d expect. But a recent study by Trainline netted what were actually some fascinating results. Trainline is an independent digital rail ticketing platform, based in London—and it’s part of the Virgin Group of companies.
Using Google search patterns over the last twelve, they sought out Americans’ travel wish list across 300 of the world’s top destinations. Obviously, those searches experienced a radical shift once worldwide lockdowns went into effect in March, and assorted travel bans went into effect.
Most startling, the top foreign holiday search was Puerto Rico, an island nation that has still never fully recovered from the 2017 devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria. One also might question its inclusion on the list at all; but then, indications were that a fair number of Americans don’t seem to know that Puerto Rico is actually part of the United States.
After that comes Greece and Italy, perhaps because they both did such an efficient job of beating back the virus. And well, if the Apocalypse is actually coming, who wouldn’t want to be on a beach in Santorini? Or sipping Negronis at the Hotel Quisisana in Capri? Canada comes in at number six, probably because a growing number of Americans are hoping to get there and never leave.
For those staying domestic, Hawaii didn’t have much trouble taking the top spot over New York City; but the latter’s decisive performance on corona makes it an attractive weekend getaway—but only if you’re coming from a state which has behaved itself and kept the virus numbers down. Quite curiously, however, residents of Hawaii are juicing to get to Las Vegas, surely as the perfect counter to all that Aloha State sunshine would be holing up in windowless gambling halls. Hmm.
For our part, we’re seriously considering tunneling all the way to Greenland, which seems like it just might be the last truly safe place on Earth.
The complete results of the Trainline study can be viewed here.