Whether you want to unplug from the world, go somewhere with fewer tourists, have a food-focused trip or spend your vacation days doing something good, there is a travel trend in 2020 for you.
Gone are the days of simply going to a travel agency and having them book a generic package tour for you. Now, people want an Instagram-ready trip that is hand-crafted to suit their tastes. And the good news is that there is a travel trend to suit every budget! Here are 15 of our favorites.
1. Purpose-driven Travel 🙏
The phenomenon of traveling somewhere to help people in lieu of a vacation is not new. But now people want to know that their trip is doing some good. That can mean only staying in local accommodations and eating in local restaurants rather than chains, or spending time building houses or picking up trash on a beach.
2. Second-City Tourism + Under Tourism 🏙️
Going to well-trafficked places like New York City or Venice is so 2019. Instead, travelers are looking for somewhere that fewer people go in a bid to help preserve the places being overrun by tourists, and also to see something off the beaten path. Think vacationing in Cambodia instead of Thailand, or Greenland instead of Iceland. Or checking out Chicago or Detroit rather than New York or Los Angeles.
3. Boutique Cruises 🛳️
Why get on a huge floating city when you can go on a bespoke cruise? Companies like Virgin are introducing boutique cruise ships that are often adults-only with hand-selected on-board entertainment, cool itineraries, sleek cabin rooms, and trendy food and cocktails. It’s like staying at a boutique hotel in the middle of the ocean.
4. Food-Focused Trips 🍽️
What? Doesn’t everyone choose their destination based on the food? Those planning a vacation are increasingly booking a trip around an immersive culinary experience, whether that’s an itinerary in Italy involving a pasta-making course with a real nonna, or a tour around China to sample the country’s best cuisine.
5. Minimalist Vacations + Digital Detox 📵
Sure, staying in a luxury hotel is great. But what about spending a weekend in a yurt with no electricity? As electronics and consumerism take over our lives, some people are choosing to have an unplugged, minimalist vacation where you can truly hear yourself think. This might entail choosing an accommodation that’s off the beaten path, or going on a meditation retreat with no phones allowed.
6. Space! 🚀
No, Space-X is not yet transporting people to Mars. But in 2020, two companies are planning either test flights or short trips into space with actual paying customers. It will still be at least 5 years until people can actually fly to space and stay at a hotel, but you can start saving for your space trip now!
7. Slow Travel + Carbon-Neutral Travel 🚆
Inspired by climate change and activists like Greta Thunberg, more travelers are thinking about the impact their adventures are having on the planet. That means that instead of flying or driving, they take the train or other public transit to get where they need to go. This is especially doable in European and Asian countries where fast and affordable train travel is available.
8. Ancestry Travel 🧬
The rise of home DNA testing kits has led to an interest in traveling to the country or continent where your ancestors are from. Maybe you found out you are Irish or have Filipino roots. No matter where your people come from, you can travel there and find out more.
9. Vegan Hotels 🥗
As more and more people choose to go vegan, hotels and tour operators are taking notice. New hotels in the UK and the US have only vegan toiletries, bedding, and food so customers can sleep well knowing no animals were harmed for their comfort.
10. Cash-Free Travel 💳
In some countries, it’s more and more difficult to find a store or restaurant that accepts cash. This is a benefit to world travelers who can hail a taxi via an app, and pay for goods and services using a mobile payment service or a credit card. That way you don’t have to exchange cash or pay ATM withdrawal fees.
11. Friendmoons 🏝️
If you’ve ever thought that going on a honeymoon with your new husband or wife sounds boring, maybe a “friendmoon” is for you. A new trend is newlyweds gathering a group of their dearest friends and heading to the honeymoon location of their choice to keep the celebration going after the wedding!
12. Micro-cations 💻 🏨
Maybe you work in a job without a lot of vacation time, but the ability to work remotely. Those in high-pressure jobs are taking micro-cations where they go on a trip somewhere, but still stay plugged in. This can also take the form of a business trip being extended with a few extra days for sightseeing and relaxation.
13. Upskilling 🧶
If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new skill, maybe 2020 is the time to do it. People are using their vacations to go learn something new like knitting, coding, pottery, woodworking, or sailing, or improve on a skill they already have.
Sure, it’s not uncommon for families to go on trips together. But having 3 or even 4 generations going on a trip together is something that’s happening more and more. Whether it’s an outdoor adventure to a national park, a trip abroad, or a week-long excursion to a theme park, kids, parents, grandparents and even great grandparents can all enjoy time together.
15. Combining Countries 🚗
If you’re planning a big trip to one country, why not look into exploring what’s next door? You can travel to Spain, but also visit Portugal, combine a trip to Brazil with a few days in Argentina, or see the sights in South Africa and then visit Namibia. Many countries do not require visas for a visit of fewer than 90 days, depending on what country your passport is from, making it easier to country hop on your next trip!