American’s most missed vacation moments unveiled: 

Just getting away from home, reconnecting with loved ones and simply listening to the sounds of a new place all top the list of travel moments Americans have missed most during this past year.

  • Culture Trip unveils the travel memories people in the US have missed most while travel has been restricted
  • Almost $4,750 is the value Americans attribute to their most cherished travel memory – more than an actual vacation would cost
  • 4 in 5 Americans now browse travel inspiration during zoom work meetings
  • Dr Jennifer Wild, Author and Associate Professor in Experimental Psychology & Consultant Clinical Psychologist at The University of Oxford said: “studies show that even planning vacations has an uplifting effect… boosting our spirits”

NYC/London, 14 April 2021: Just getting away from home – where we have spent so much time over these last 12 months – and reconnecting with loved ones are the travel moments Americans have missed most while travel has been restricted. This is closely followed by simply listening to the sounds of a new place such as birdsong, waves crashing or the chirps of crickets in the field.

This has today been revealed by a new representative survey* by Culture Trip – the travel website and app for booking hand-picked places to stay and experiences – in anticipation of the world opening up again and to celebrate the travel moments we have missed, and we are close to experiencing again.

Visiting a breathtaking place, posting that amazing image from a trip on social media, the buzz of setting the out of office note on the last day at work before going on a trip, and having (too many) local shots like Ouzo or Limoncello are also vacation moments Americans have missed.

With Americans missing so many little travel moments that create big memories, it is no surprise how precious they are for them. When pushed on exactly how much a cherished travel moment is worth they attribute a value of almost $4,750 on average – which is much more than an actual  vacation would cost. Five percent even say such a fond travel memory is worth over $30,000.

The Culture Trip survey also found how daydreaming about travelling – whether that’s travel memories or future travel plans – can make people feel good. It gets them excited about places they want to visit next (say 31%); it distracts them from everything else that’s going on in the world right now (30%); it makes them want to book something, pack the suitcase and go away now (29%), and it makes them realize how important travelling is (28%). One in four claim it lifts their mood (25%) and almost as many feel that it relieves stress (24%).

Americans now spend an average of 30 minutes a week daydreaming about travel, with 13% spending over one hour fantasizing about vacation. And knowing that somewhere wonderful is waiting, another 33 minutes a week they spend browsing travel inspiration on the internet. Four in five (80%) even admit to spending time during their working hours and zoom work meetings browsing travel inspiration (which might explain those colleagues’ smiles during boring online meetings).

When imagining international travel restrictions are further lifted and they can finally go on their dream vacation, finding themselves in the same hotel as their boss (24%) or receiving calls and emails from their boss (25%) is something that could spoil the long awaited break. Even worse though would be too many restrictions due to the pandemic or other travelers not behaving respectfully towards the destination they visit (27% each).

The Culture Trip travel moments list: top 21 travel moments Americans have missed most in the last 12 months

1. Just getting away from home where we have spent so much time these last 12 months 

2. Reconnecting with family / friends again after I haven’t seen them for a long time 

3. Just listening to the sounds of a different place (e.g. bird song, palm trees, waves etc.) 

4. Being able to go wherever I want, whenever I want

5. Connecting with locals, even when you don’t speak their language 

6. Coming home with new memories and great stories to tell 

7. Spending time with your loved ones

8. Visiting a breathtaking site / attraction / place

9. Posting that amazing image from your trip on social media 

10. Enjoying a view that’s not the one from your office / home office / desk 

11. The buzz you get from setting the out of office note on the last day at work before going on a trip 

12. Experiencing a culture you’ve never experienced before

13. The excitement of being in a new place for the first time

14. Experiencing a new dish you’ve never had before

15. On a road trip, not knowing what’s around the next corner

16. Having one item on your to-do list: enjoying life

17. Having (too many) local shots like ouzo or limoncello

18. Making new friends

19. Having an afternoon nap

20. At the hotel, ordering everything at breakfast 

21. Being so remote your phone doesn’t have signal 

Dr Jennifer Wild, Author and Associate Professor in Experimental Psychology & Consultant Clinical Psychologist at The University of Oxford said “There’s no doubt that people have missed travelling over the last year, whether that’s for work or pleasure.  Travelling offers the opportunity to step out of the daily grind and immerse oneself in a new culture, in nature or to meet new people, all of which are experiences that absorb and stimulate our senses, making it the perfect milieu to let go of worries.  Studies show that even planning holidays has an uplifting effect, absorbing our attention and boosting our spirits.”

Darren Carbine, Chief Travel Officer at Culture Trip commented “In anticipation of the world opening up again, at Culture Trip we are celebrating the travel moments we’ve all missed (and never thought we’d miss) – the little moments that are part of a big adventure and we’re all so close to experiencing again. We are ready to inspire people and help them book the travel they have missed.”

Culture Trip launched its Somewhere Wonderful Is Waiting campaign to celebrate the travel moments we all have missed – and to inspire people and help them book the travel they have missed (once it’s safe again to do so) with hand-picked places to stay and unmissable things to do:

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* About the survey

Survey conducted on behalf of Culture Trip by OnePoll with a nationally representative 2,000 US adults

About Culture Trip

Culture Trip is the trusted shortcut to booking travel that’s good, and makes you feel good. In one single platform, customers can discover and book spot-on stays and experiences – because for a decade now, Culture Trip’s global community of travel experts and local insiders have hand-picked the world’s best bits to share travel stories and unbiased recommendations, together with curated collections of places to stay, hotels, things to do and experiences that can be booked online. In 2011, Culture Trip was created to inspire people to go beyond their cultural boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and culture, special, unique and meaningful. Today, Culture Trip is the essential travel companion and has evolved as a travel e-commerce brand with content at its heart. Culture Trip inspires people and enables them to turn this inspiration directly into reality – all in one place.

About Dr Jennifer Wild
Dr Jennifer Wild is a psychological scientist at the University of Oxford with expertise in risk and resilience. She has over 70 publications, including book chapters, and a recently published popular science book, Be Extraordinary: 7 Key Skills to Transform Your Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary. Dr Wild developed SHAPE (, an evidence-based programme to support frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  She regularly appears in the media giving expert advice on how to build resilience to severe stress. The documentary, Vertigo Road Trip, in which she treats five people to overcome anxiety and lead extraordinary lives, aired on BBC One, attracting 2.2 million viewers. Dr Wild has successfully helped hundreds of people to reclaim and transform their lives.