Continued – and the possibility of increasing – flexibility in work schedules is having a positive impact on the travel industry, according to travelers recently surveyed by Flywire. Some consumers are poised to spend more, travel longer and perhaps at times in the year they may not have in the past, owing to the hybrid work model.
Luxury travel as a whole continues to prove resilient as a travel segment, according to our recent survey. Consumers are ready to spend as much as 30% more than they did in 2022, and are also planning to spend more of their time vacationing this year.
Flexibility in work schedules is one driver. At least 89% of travelers of all ages surveyed (Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers) say travel is no longer limited to traditional vacation seasons. In fact, 84% of the 600 luxury travelers Flywire surveyed would prefer to travel in the “off-season.” It’s a benefit of hybrid work – as a full 85% attribute it to their ability to travel most times of the year.
Closely related, the luxury travel industry may also benefit from the increasing desire to combine business travel and leisure travel. Roughly three-quarters of luxury travelers (73%) Flywire surveyed say they are more likely to combine business trips and vacations now than in the past. Nearly ⅓ of consumers in Expedia Group’s Traveler Value Index 2023 said they were looking to take a flexcation trip in the next 12 months.
And in more good news for workers with wanderlust – hybrid work looks like it’s here to stay. Close to three-fourths (74%) of employers now offer hybrid work arrangements, according to a recent survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. And no surprise, the majority of employees prefer hybrid work (68%) and working full-time from home (28%) to being on-site full time (8%) according to a December 2022 World Economic Forum survey.
Four-day workweeks could boost travel as well. 85% of the travelers we surveyed said a four-day workweek would allow them to take a lot more weekends for travel. While formal adoption is nowhere near that of hybrid work today, companies have been experimenting with more flexible work schedules. And research from employment agency Robert Half, indicates that over 90% of US managers support a four-day workweek for their team and over 60% expect their company to transition to one within the next five years.
But while travelers are happy work helps them take more trips – they don’t really want to take work with them there. Some 83% of those we surveyed say a vacation means they are truly disconnected from work.