It was just over a year ago when the world changed in startling ways few could have imagined.
Masks became mandatory. Schools were closed. Social life, as we knew it, was canceled. And in a matter of just a few weeks, plans for the future were, abruptly, put on indefinite hold.
The pandemic touched nearly every business, with the wedding and travel industries among the most drastically upended. Weddings were cancelled, held on Zoom, or postponed again and again, and trips were limited to the walk from the couch to the fridge and back to the couch.
Withweddings back on the calendar and travel beginning to pick back up, the team here at BACH wanted to take a look at just what group travel and bachelor/ette party trips have in store for 2021 and how COVID-19 will continue to shape the remainder of the year.
This report is built off a combination of survey responses from 12,591 BACH users and first-party data from the BACH platform of over 500,000 users.
Travelers are making up for lost time and planning all kinds of group trips. A whopping 88% of respondents are attending two or more group trips in 2021, and over 12% are attending at least five. (Group trips here are being defined as at least four attendees.)
Travelers are making the most of the long weekend, with most starting their trips on a Friday and stretching the festivities until sometime Monday. Work from home, of course, is still commonplace across the country. With this flexibility that many predict is here to stay, travelers can now extend their stays at destinations and plug in when they need to. Sunday Funday? Sign us up.
A key takeaway here: 61% of these travelers plan on flying to their destination. This is a huge shift from last summer and fall, when many BACH users were actively avoiding flying and lengthy travel during COVID-19. Instead, they were favoring party destinations that were within driving distance. But this spring and summer, air travel is officially back.
It’s worth noting that BACH attendees tend to start planning their trips far in advance, on average 114 days before the event. Due to the travel boom these next few months, starting the planning process as early as possible is going to be crucial to lock in the plans your group wants. Best part about making early bookings? Many COVID cancellation policies are still favorable for travel arrangements, so take advantage of it while you can.
With COVID-19 postponing many wedding dates, bachelor and bachelorette parties naturally followed suit. This lull in BACH parties since the pandemic’s onset has resulted in pent-up demand that’s coming to a head in the upcoming months—and peaking this summer.
Let’s dive into the numbers.
42% of respondents plan to attend two or more BACH parties this year—a percentage that would be considered high even during pre-COVID times. (Special shoutout to the 2% of respondents who have five or more BACH parties this year. You are BACH party warriors. ✊🏻 )
As you’d expect, COVID has dramatically impacted travel plans with 35% of respondents attending a rescheduled party this year that was originally planned for 2020 and a third of respondents who changed the party destination in light of COVID concerns.
At BACH, we saw a rising interest in quieter destinations like the Florida Keys and Newport, RI for a weekend getaway starting back in the fall of 2020. Partiers were generally opting outside to find more spacious and low-key venues to limit the risk of transmission, rather than raging in some of the prevailing BACH party cities.
But don’t rule out the rebound of top nightlife destinations like Vegas and New Orleans—our data shows they’re on their way back. As millions of Americans get vaccinated each day and the future continues to look safer, we’re now seeing an uptick in trips being planned in the classic party cities.
BACH parties are rolling deep this year, with the average party size coming in at 10.2 people. The more the merrier seems to be the ruling theme for parties, with over 13% of parties boast groups of more than fifteen attendees—a small parade.
The data is showing demand start to bubble up right in the heat of July and soaring during August. But we expect to see many more trips from September through October (keep in mind that BACH attendees start planning over 3 months out).
At the current pace, reports suggest anyone in the U.S. who wants a vaccine should be able to get one far before then, and a wave of BACH parties in the weeks right before autumn weddings seems very likely based on BACH’s historical data.
Nashville remains the crowd-favorite for the third straight year, with thousands of respondents giddying on up to Music City in 2021.
Miami, too, has been buzzin’ throughout the pandemic, sitting as the #3 destination for parties on the BACH app. We expect the 305’s popularity to keep growing as travelers yearn for beach vacations post-COVID.
The city that made the biggest leap is Scottsdale, Arizona, rising from #5 all the way to #2. With warm weather, trendy bars, and a vibrant nightlife scene, this Sonoran Desert oasis is now our fastest-growing BACH party destination.
This past year, Sin City bounced from #2 down to #4 due to COVID, but it’s bouncing back strong as we head into summer and nightlife becomes more desirable. Definitely be sure to keep a close eye on the charming coastal town of Savannah as it continues to come up through the ranks. The team here at BACH predicts it will jump into the top five by 2022 👀
See the full ranking of the top 13 BACH cities below:
Now, what happens when the BACH party arrives at their destination? Where are they staying? What are they doing? We’ll tell all below.
BACH parties are choosing to stay at home rentals over hotels. 77% of respondents, in fact, plan on renting a home during their BACH weekend.
This makes a lot of sense, for a couple reasons. For one, parties are traveling with larger groups of ten or more people and want to keep the whole squad together in one spot all weekend long. Additionally, they want to find safer dwellings during COVID times.
By staying at a rental, they can host some of the weekend’s festivities from home, while limiting interaction with those outside their immediate crew. (P.S. We’re launching BACH Houses this spring. Join our waitlist here to be the first to know when they're live.)
About half of travelers are planning to spend $250+ on accommodations in 2021.
This is a significant increase from last year and could be due to two main factors:
1) They’ve saved a year’s worth of cash while hunkering down during the pandemic and eating microwavable dinners. Now they’re ready to throw down and splurge.
2) In response to COVID, they’re looking to bring the BACH party experiences to the house: private chefs, personalized decor, private yoga and fitness classes, and pool parties (with giant inflatable flamingo floats, obviously). Booking a baller house makes these private experiences that much more enjoyable.
BACH users are absolutely loving transpotainment experiences right now, like party buses, pedal pubs, haunted tours, and booze cruises. Importantly, these are open-air experiences with just their group—and they’re almost all BYOB.
That’s a tough combo to beat, especially when you can play your crew’s favorite songs and let the mobile dance party commence.
A BACH party preference no matter the activity: do we even have to say it? Okay, we’ll say it. It’s all about the 'gram. BACH parties are seeking out all those Instagrammable moments as they tour new cities and document their trip.
From private Insta-worthy photoshoots in Nashville to colorful mural tours in the Wynwood Art District of Miami, BACH parties are always looking for that perfect photo op.
Our sleeper pick for BACH experiences? Private chefs. A classy but cozy experience, at-home dining with a private chef has seen a huge rise in demand during COVID.
Moving forward, we believe this experience is here to stay.
Pontoon Charters are the rising stars of BACH experiences. Buoyant and boozy, a pontoon ride is a perfect day-hang activity our users love. It’s a fun way to explore a new coastline, drink as many Claws as you like, and party on the beach.
With all the pent-up demand unleashing this summer, booking your reservations for both accommodations and experiences in advance will be key to ensure you have the trip you've been dreaming of while locked up inside this past year. Get it done!
According to our data, the average BACH party is spending $5,500-$7,000 on their trip in total. With many U.S. cities hurting from the lack of domestic tourism this past year, the ability to attract BACH parties (and ensure they feel safe) will result in a sizable impact on the local economy. With travelers frequenting small businesses like bars, restuarants, boutique shops, toursim experiences, BACH parties can help these cities and residents execute the rebound they've been hoping for.
After a year of tremendous stress and uncertainty, the end of this madness doesn’t feel so far away anymore. People are getting vaccinated and they’re ready to travel to beautiful places with the people they love. They’re ready to celebrate life’s most cherished milestones in a big way.
Everything you need to plan the perfect trip is at your fingertips in the free BACH app.
Create your itinerary, book memorable experiences, split expenses, poll your group, and more—all on BACH.