Most Portuguese people plan to travel this year “within their own country”, particularly in the summer months, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the conclusions of a study carried out by Europ Assistance.

According to the “Vacation Rental” study carried out through an online survey of 8,770 individuals in eight countries, with national samples representing 1,000 people per country, “most Portuguese people plan to travel this year, namely in the summer season, and choose Portugal as their destination of choice”.

“More than half of the respondents prefer to travel within their own country and 31 percent plan to travel to European countries”, according to the study, which aims to reflect the changes in travel habits due to the Covid-19.

About 47 percent of Portuguese respondents choose to take vacations in July, August and September 2021, but 22 percent consider travelling only after 2022, a trend in line with the global analysis of the questionnaire.

According to the document, 79 percent of Portuguese people consider taking a “leisure trip” in the next 18 months, however, “there is also a growing interest in renting for use related to remote work”.

In the next 18 months, 40 percent of respondents say they plan to rent a holiday home, apartment or villa and prefer to book “through or Airbnb, which shows that the Portuguese continue to choose rental options when booking accommodation”.

The vast majority of respondents (77 percent) have already assured a place to stay and prefer tranquillity, comfort, privacy and contact with nature as the reasons for preferring to vacation in a rented house.

As far as travel insurance is concerned, 58 percent of respondents say they have never taken out travel insurance when booking their holidays.

However, 66 percent admit that it is “probable” or “very likely” that they will purchase insurance for the next trip, “which shows a greater concern on the part of the Portuguese in taking out travel insurance due to the pandemic, a trend that is in line with the remaining countries participating in the study”, the report shows.

In the study, 48 percent of respondents admitted to continuing to rent a house, apartment or holiday villa after the pandemic and named the availability of a vaccine proven to be effective in preventing the virus, reducing the spread of Covid-19 in Portugal and reducing the worldwide spread of the virus as the factors that will weigh the most in the decision to take a trip in the next 18 months.

“Social distance, companions (family, friends or individually) and places with high cleaning protocols are the most important criteria for the Portuguese when selecting a holiday destination”, the document reads.

Regarding the question of what they would do if vaccination against Covid-19 became mandatory to be able to travel by plane, 72 percent said it had no impact, since they plan to get the vaccine.

The “Vacation Rental Survey” studied around 8,770 travellers from eight countries (France, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom and the United States) and were interviewed between 28 February and 1 April, 2021.