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2018 Travel Trends: Squaremouth Reveals Changes in Traveler Behavior


ST. PETERSBURG FL December 19, 2018 — Major storms, natural disasters and an uncertain economy impacted traveler behavior in 2018, but didn’t stop Americans from traveling or insuring their trips. Based on customer data, Squaremouth reveals the top 2018 travel trends.


Travelers Spent Less on Trips

The recent sluggish economy led to an overall decrease in how much travelers spent on trips in 2018.

  • For the first time in 6 years, travelers spent less on their trips than the previous year, with the average trip cost declining by 3%
  • Despite decreased spending, more travelers chose to protect their trip costs with travel insurance in 2018
  • Squaremouth reported a 28% increase in cancellation-style policy sales over last year


U.S. Travelers Stayed Close to Home

U.S. residents preferred travel within North America in 2018, which may have been a result of the uncertain economy or safety threats abroad.

  • After the United States, the next 3 most popular 2018 destinations were Mexico, Italy and Canada
  • The cost to travel to these destinations has decreased by an average 5% over last year


Weather and Natural Disasters Were a Top Concern

Major natural disasters in 2018, such as hurricanes Florence and Michael, and the California wildfires, had more travelers worried about having to cancel their trips unexpectedly.

  • The number of travelers who bought travel insurance in 2018 specifically for weather or a natural disaster increased by 13% over last year
  • Traveler concern over weather surpassed terrorism as the top trip cancellation concern


New Destinations Gain Ground

More travelers, particularly Millennials, are opting for destinations that offer cultural and historical experiences over traditional locations.

  • 2018 tourism to Egypt, Morocco and Japan increased 144%, 73% and 47%, respectively, compared to last year
  • Younger generations are leading the charge to these locations, which show a 65% increase in Millennial travelers over last year


Cruises Continued to Gain Popularity

More travelers of all ages are choosing to spend their vacations aboard cruises in 2018.

  • The number of travelers buying cruise insurance in 2018 increased by 22% over last year
  • Travelers purchasing travel insurance specifically for cruises has increased every year since 2012
  • The number of travelers over 70 years old taking cruises has doubled since last year, followed closely by Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials

Methodology: Data is based on travel insurance policies purchased through Squaremouth from 1/1/2018 – 12/17/18. Statistics reflect year-over-year changes unless otherwise noted.


SQUAREMOUTH compares travel insurance policies from every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and third-party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare travel insurance policies side-by-side. More information can be found at