Is travel becoming a distant memory? After seven-plus months of lockdown by a global pandemic, an overlooked side effect may not be so obvious as a persistent cough or intermittent fatigue, but it is making its mark none the less: Travel amnesia.

Americans are not only missing travel right now, they are struggling to remember what it felt like. But for all that forgetting, Americans say travel is their most frequently recalled happy memory, more than special occasions or personal achievements. In fact, the majority cite creating lasting memories as a primary motive for trips, according to a recent study conducted on behalf of Hilton.

With so many staying at home, 90% of survey respondents admitted to believing that the nation is facing a travel memory deficit that will have long-lasting impact, including greater stress and missed opportunity for special moments with loved ones.

With this thought in mind, a majority of those surveyed said they are already looking ahead to making their next travel memory, as 94% of Americans surveyed are planning to travel again. And two-thirds vow to quit putting off taking trips and make their dream vacations a reality.

"Travel is an unstoppable force, and we know consumers are eager to reconnect with the people and places they love," said Danny Hughes, Executive Vice President and President, Americas, Hilton. "Hilton is ready to welcome guests back with all the assurances they need — best-in-class hospitality, cleanliness and flexibility — to create their new memories whenever they are ready to be out and traveling again."

The survey results provide details about how U.S. consumers are thinking differently about travel. With the travel memory deficit at the forefront of consumers' minds, a pent-up demand to travel is bubbling over: 66% of those travelers surveyed will quit putting off special trips they have always wanted to take and almost two-thirds (63%) of those looking to travel again will choose more relaxing travel over adventure travel.

New travel memories are on the horizon for many. According to the survey, eight in 10 (80%) travelers will prioritize creating new travel memories when they choose to travel again. Among travelers who plan to travel again, over one-third of Americans surveyed (39%) plan to travel more than they previously did once travel restrictions are lifted and three in five (62%) will be more adventurous by journeying to brand new places to make travel memories.

Kelton Global conducted the survey online among 2,030 Americans aged 18+ in the United States during the period of September 7-14, 2020 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.2%.