Almost 1 in 3 struggled with lockdown mode within the first week
Singapore, 27 October 2020 – For many Singaporeans, it would be an understatement to describe what they have gone through in the past six months as a balancing act. With the need to juggle harsh new realities at work, in school and in their social life while being stuck within the confines of their homes, life can be whittled down into a seemingly monotonous grind with little opportunity for a much-needed break. This intense need for a break from the routine is what Expedia describes as reaching your ‘tripping point’ – the moment at which day-to-day responsibilities become too much to bear, resulting in a strong desire for an escape.
Through a survey conducted with 1,000 adults aged between 18 and 45 in Singapore, Expedia examined how reaching the ‘tripping point’ has impacted people during the Covid-19 Circuit Breaker and how short- and long-term travel desires and aspirations were shaped by these movement control measures. Key findings from the study are outlined below.
One-third of Singaporeans reached their ‘tripping point’ within the first week of Circuit Breaker
On average, Singaporeans reached their tripping point just 23 days following the introduction of the Circuit Breaker. Close to a-third (30%) reached that point immediately within the first week, 27% reached it between 8 to 30 days, and 16% reached their tripping point between 31 to 90 days.
The top factors that drove them to their tripping point include:
- A need to get out of the house for a change in scenery (42%)
- A need to be alone and free to do what I wanted (28%)
- The want to indulge in activities that I usually wouldn’t at home (26%)
- A need to see family or friends in other destinations (25%)
However, with the inability to look forward to their next holiday, half (50%) of the respondents confessed that they felt bored, upset, or stressed as a result of that. When asked about the steps that they would take to manage these overwhelming feelings, Singaporeans said that they would:
- Take personal time to look after themselves (43%)
- Get into a new hobby (37%)
- Spend more quality time with family (37%)
- Get into exercise (36%)
Desire to travel during Circuit Breaker
Once the Circuit Breaker took effect, it took Singaporeans slightly more than a month – an average of 36 days – before cabin fever kicked in, with searches for travel increasing towards the month of July. It was evident that staycations were top-of-mind as more than 32% of the searches done in July was for hotels in Singapore, followed by Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London, New York, Sydney, Bangkok and Shanghai.
When asked what they missed most about travel amidst the closure of international borders during the Covid-19 pandemic, almost half (45%) said that they missed exploring a new place and culture. This was followed by the ability to take a break from work (43%), enjoying a different climate (41%), spending quality family time overseas (40%) and trying local food overseas (39%).
Once the Circuit Breaker ended, Singaporeans took half the time – 17 days on average – to book a trip away from home. Of those who have booked a trip, over half of them (52%) booked a staycation, a third (31%) booked an overseas trip, while 17% booked a staycation as well as an overseas trip.
Luxurious trip within Asia Pacific tops Singaporeans’ wish list for their next big holiday
Although international leisure travel remains on pause, this has not stopped Singaporeans from dreaming about their next overseas holiday. When thinking of their next trip, nearly a-third (31%) said that their dream trip would be a luxurious and pampering trip. This was followed by outdoor activity (22%), kids club getaway (18%), and solo adventure (11%) trips.
In terms of their ideal destination for their next big holiday, 36% said that they would most likely travel to an Asia Pacific destination that is within a 7-hour flight away. In addition:
- 14% would most likely explore Singapore
- 14% would travel within Europe
- 10% would travel to somewhere in Malaysia
According to flight search data on Expedia.com.sg between 1 September and 24 October 2020, destinations such as Hong Kong, London and Tokyo topped the list of cities Singaporeans are searching for their year-end holidays this year.
Post-trip quarantine could kill interest to travel
While Singaporeans dream of travelling once again, over half (53%) said that concerns about post-trip quarantine is preventing them from booking a trip in late 2020 or early 2021. In addition, concerns about the cleanliness of hotels/airports/vacation rentals (46%), being stuck in a foreign country (45%) and not being able to cancel flights/accommodation easily (36%) were among their other top worries.
“There is no doubt that the Circuit Breaker has had an impact on our customers, and the resumption of travel, domestically and over time internationally, will ignite the desire to travel once again. Expedia’s data indicates that there is a growing sense of eagerness to travel, and it is great to see Singaporeans embrace this time to explore our beautiful island and support local tourism growth, while enjoying time with their loved ones. As a global travel leader, it is our role to relieve the stress of planning in these uncertain times and equip travellers with the relevant information, cost-effective hotels, flights, activities and the tools that they need to feel confident to travel again,” said Lavinia Rajaram, APAC Head of Communications, Expedia.
The Expedia’s COVID-19 travel guide provides up-to-date information on travel guidance, restrictions and trip cancellation policies.
 Based on hotel standalone search data on Expedia.com.sg for the month of July 2020.
 Based on flight standalone search data on Expedia.com.sg conducted from 1 September to 24 October 2020 for travel in December 2020.