2021 Travel Will Mean A Lot More Sex

Vaccines are coming, though slower than we’d all like. Some states may be well on their way to Covid-19 herd immunity, the bad kind, where there are fewer people left to infect because everyone’s already had it. One way or another it seems like we’re coming to the end of the pandemic, at least in the U.S., even if it’s going to be a hard next few months.

We’re all ready to travel again, and to return to normal life. Some people are too ready to get back to normal. If you’ve made it this long without getting the virus, it makes sense to hunker down just a few more months rather than hitting the bars in premature exuberance.

In April I laid out the case why business travel won’t ever fully return. It’s clearer now what sort won’t come back. And leisure travel will be limited by the countries that have opened their borders, even to people who have been vaccinated (we’re still a couple months away from data on whether vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus, not just getting it).

But there’s going to be a lot of intertemporal substitution (‘pent up demand’). People stayed home for a year, they’re going to want to take the time they’d have stayed home next year and use that time for the travel they couldn’t do in 2020. People are going to be bubbling over with excitement to travel in the second half of 2021, and into 2022.

  • Business trips will be more rare, but those first ones are going to be a thrill. And their reduced frequency will make them seem more special – and an opportunity to break out from normal life.

  • Mostly we’re going to be excited to see people. Other people will seem more novel and interesting. There’s going to be a lot more casual sex.

  • Don’t worry, married or otherwise-monogamous people aren’t going to be left out. There’s going to be vacation sex, too. And since most of you haven’t been on a real vacation in awhile even that’s going to seem fresher, and more anticipatory.

With greater distancing and less time spent with others outside our household, other people will just seem more exciting than they used to. And we’ll see the people we’ve been stuck at home with for a year with fresh eyes while we’re on vacation. Plus hotel stays are good for sex even in normal times.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] There’s no question: more people want to travel now, especially as they become vaccinated. Many have traded off less travel over the past year and want to travel more in the coming year to make up for it (“intertemporal substitution”). There’s a lot more excitement around travel after not having done it which will lead to far fewer inhibitions on the road. […]


  1. As a single senior who travels solo, might be interesting…then again, maybe not…only time will tell.

  2. “We’re all ready to travel again, and to return to normal life.” Not quite sure what normal will be after the pandemic winds down. Growing up during the Spanish Flu forever left the late Howard Hughes with a germ phobia, growing up in the Great Depression left many forever hoarding food and cleaning their plates and World War II made short, military-type haircuts popular. No doubt the lingering memory of Covid 19 is going to lead to some behavioral changes. One can only hope that gratuitous rioting, looting, burning, and destruction of public property are not the lasting legacy of the pandemic.

  3. I’d like to associate myself with Wes’ comment. This is spot on and insightful. I for one am looking forward to what used to be my annual “elite mileage generating trip” to Costa Rica.

  4. I’ve read a few articles that compare the next few years to the roaring ’20s in the post-Spanish flu world. Sex could see a spike in risky behavior but my guess is more along the lines of how business travel will never return to the same. More people will be addicted to online sexual interaction and pornography so will be too lazy to go out and seek it in bars, etc. If you can meet online why bother to in person. Also with the hit to in-person church attendance, we could see a drop in church activities, people dropping out of interaction with their faith, and reinforced morals. This drop could lead to more immoral sexual activity. Also, add in the changing winds of a more liberal political world and that could make the steep slope even worse. It’s like a perfect storm. This doesn’t even take into consideration that some marriages may not last after all this due to stress and at home life situations. On the bright side, I’d think that the marriages that improved during all this might be stronger than ever.

  5. “People stayed home for a year…”

    No, people that can’t think for themselves stayed home for a year. The rest of us continued to travel the world and, shockingly, are still alive to talk about it.

  6. @ ADK — You can just watch the same three videos of “gratuitous rioting, looting, burning, and destruction of public property” that Fox News has been playing all year. You sound like a typical Fox News viewer that thinks the word is as portrayed by these liars. I’ve got new for you — it’s not.

  7. The first business trips will be odd. There should still be masks wearing and an attempt to reduce contact.

    Jose is a bad person for encouraging travel. More people traveled during Thanksgiving and, look, a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths. Covid-19 is like AIDS. You think you won’t get it.

    I agree that flying is not more risky than many activities. However, the other activities also put you at risk for Covid. The first double lung transplant for Covid-19 happened in a previously healthy 28 year old woman from Chicago who worked for a law firm. Her life is ruined as lung transplants are not perfect. At 28, she may have thought that young people don’t get very sick from Covid.

  8. The Wuhan virus hasn’t stopped me from having sex. I’ve had sex with 15 ladies since March. I’ve tested negative for China plague each of the dozen times I’ve been tested since March. I’ve also tested negative for antibodies. Oh yeah, I’ve tested negative for STDs. It’s a great time to have sex right now … huge demand.

  9. The girls in Las Vegas and Miami that normally cost $1500 are offering their services for $250-$300. That’s how weak business has been.

  10. “If you’ve made it this long without getting the virus, it makes sense to hunker down just a few more months rather than hitting the bars in premature exuberance.”

    Lol, nope. Traveled to almost 30 countries in 2020, planning about the same in 2021.
    My wife and I paid for sex in foreign countries.
    No covid for us in any situation. Weird huh?

    Currently blasting around south america, it’s the last thing we think about.

    The covid hype is worse than the Ginger/Segway hype from 2001.

  11. Gene :the Wise, pray tell us more about Portland and explain to all why The City Where the Young Go to Retire has turned into a place of seemingly endless unrest. In my youth Portland was the City of Roses, but the smell of roses is gone and we are left with just the scent of garden manure. As for the media, I rarely mention my education and experience as a journalist because the modern press has little of the integrity my professors and editors taught. David Dorn died in the BLM effort to stir up and turn out the black vote. Deny that BLM activist, Patrisse Cullors, asked Biden for favor for their work (“…Black Lives Matter invested heavily in this election…”). Tell us when your new messiah intends to raise David Dorn and destroyed black businesses back from the dead.

  12. “This drop could lead to more immoral sexual activity”.

    OK, now I have something to look forward to in 2021!

  13. Working people didn’t take their vacation weeks in 2020. 2021, people will have extra vacations to spend. Lots of travel agency business coming up.

  14. @ ADK — No politician is my Messiah, nor ever will be. That behavior is generally practiced by evangelical hypocrites.

  15. @Gene – You mention the 3 looting videos Fox keeps playing. Have you traveled much in the past 7 Months? If not, you likely have not seen the destruction of cities first hand and the liberal news you watch will not show the destruction. I can’t count the amount of business windows I have seen boarded up this last summer. Charleston and Ashville were particularly bad.

  16. Your an idiot Gene. My son lives in Seattle and showed us the damage done to that once great city. He and his wife left town for 6 months due to the carnage. The same for Portland OR. Get your head out of your a… and stop blaming Fox.

  17. Gary,

    Didn’t see this article coming from you, but I wholeheartedly agree. I told my friends there would be orgies in the streets once the pandemic was over. While that might be a slight exaggeration, I do think that folks (not even those paying, which I don’t judge) will be yearning for that physical connection. I used to get a regular massage and hit the sauna at least once or twice a month, but it’s been 10 months (luckily I have a foam roller) since I’ve had any deep physical contact and I’m patiently waiting to let loose as are many people I know. And yes, I hear all those of you who have been indulging, but I’ve had a lot of sex in my life, so I feel I can wait until the pandemic has ebbed to engage in risky behavior (which I’d bet I’ve done more than most on this board judging on the comments). Anyway, here’s to orgies in the streets in 2021!

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