Just as the destinations that we love to visit as avid travelers change from year to year, decade to decade, so do the travel trends that we partake in. Travel trends over recent years have included immersive travel, sustainable travel, multigenerational travel and skip-gen travel. While all of these have their merits, the travel landscape continues to evolve.
In the upcoming year, we can expect different travel trends to pop up. For travel brands, including hotels, tour providers and airlines, expect to see trends catering to them. Change can definitely be a good thing, though — perhaps one of these predicted eight travel trends for 2020 will be well suited to your travel habits and preferences.
1. Country Coupling
According to the luxury travel network Virtuoso, country coupling is growing in popularity with many travelers. Virtuoso advisers especially see this when helping travelers book unusual pairings of destinations. So instead of visiting two countries that are simply close geographically, a traveler might book a trip to a mountainous location before moving on to a seaside locale.
Likewise, they may spend half their trip in an urban hub, before moving on to somewhere more nature-heavy and remote.
2. Reducing Impact
Booking.com sees travelers in 2020 looking to reduce their impact in a variety of ways. Not only are travelers starting to look for under-sold cities and destinations that maybe aren’t as popular in an effort to combat the negative effects of overtourism, but they’re also choosing less environmentally-harmful modes of transportation.
Rather than taking a plane to the most talked-about destination on the planet, trendy travelers are specifically looking for destinations that don’t get their fair share of attention, and then taking the slow way to get there — such as auto or train travel.
3. Train Travel
Along the same lines, as more travelers opt for train travel over plane travel, they’re still seeking first- and business-class experiences. Just because they’re choosing to lessen their carbon footprint doesn’t mean that they’re wanting to lower their standards by any means.
Because of this, luxury train travel could see an increase in popularity both in Europe and in North America as rail providers offer 5-star experiences, luxurious accommodations, first-rate entertainment and scenic views.
4. Tiny Trips
More people want to travel, but few people have the time for a long trip, either due to familial responsibilities, work responsibilities or just a lack of vacation days. Additionally, more people want to visit more destinations and be more well-traveled. How can they get what they want, with limited time and sometimes limited cash?
Tiny trips are the trending answer to this problem. Rather than get away once per year, for 10 days or two weeks, more travelers are getting away for two or three days at a time and taking more frequent trips as a result.
5. Pet Travel
It’s no secret that millennials and younger generations love their pets just as much as many love their children. And just like their parents before them took their kids on vacation, these generations want to take their pets on vacation, too.
But sitting in the cargo hold for the flight and in the hotel room all vacation long is no longer good enough for Fido. Pet owners want their pets treated appropriately, which to them includes special pet amenities at their hotel, plenty of pet-friendly activities and eateries in their destination and great pet care during their flight.
6. Vegan Friendliness
As more people go vegan, they’re demanding that travel providers cater to their needs. In addition to a rise in vegan-friendly restaurants, vegans want to see more hotels that are vegan-friendly, with no animal products in guestrooms — and this isn’t just limited to leather. Wool, silk and feather duvets are at risk for being discarded for kinder alternatives.
7. Cruises Geared Toward A New Type Of Traveler
The Virgin brand’s take on cruising hits the high seas next year. The arrival is much-anticipated, and not just by frequent cruisers. Travelers of all types are eagerly awaiting Virgin Voyages to unveil what it has in store for cruisers, as the brand hints at some big changes to the typical cruising experience.
The hipster design, adults-only policy, on-board tattoo parlor and vegan eats featured on Virgin Voyages could interest a brand new generation and type of traveler in cruising, encouraging other cruise lines to change up their offerings.
8. Less Is More
Some travelers are reducing the sometimes over-the-top, ultra-luxe travel experience into something entirely different. Spartan travel means giving up all the frills of traditional travel, including convenient tech, in exchange for a simpler way of life.
Accommodations are minimal. Bringing along as few belongings as possible is encouraged when on one of these newly trending “spartan” trips. But some travelers take things even a step further by indulging in a little naked nature time, with nude activities such as swimming and hiking on the rise.