Every passing year, the world gets smaller and society becomes more global. We have more awareness of other cultures, and it’s easier than ever to visit countries abroad.
It goes without saying that the way we travel has transformed immensely over the years. In the last decade alone we’ve seen a lot of change for better and sometimes for worse, from the emergence of in-flight WiFi to the spike in digital nomads to a drastic increase in airport security measures.
And it’s not stopping there. The start of a new decade means that even more significant changes are on the horizon.
While fads come and go, there are a few travel trends we’ve noticed as we’ve moved into 2020 which we believe are here to stay.
From choosing more environmentally-friendly travel to taking micro-vacations, these are the top travel trends predicted for the year ahead:
1. Environmentally-friendly travel
With a global climate emergency on our hands, embracing sustainability is truly life or death.
For some, eco-consciousness involves giving up travel completely. But forgoing travel is not a sacrifice all are willing (or able) to take.
Those looking to balance their need or desire to travel with their intention to be more sustainable are embracing environmentally friendly travel as a middle ground.
Regardless of what it looks like, environmentally-friendly travel is a trend that will only continue to rise in 2020 and beyond.
2. Experiential travel
Tourism has many subsections, each of which have fluctuated in popularity over the years.
Wildlife tourism captures a large audience, along with adventure and historical tourism. But experiential travel, also known as transformative tourism, is catching up.
Transformative tourism is travel that focuses on an experience that is, well, transformative. Rather than just visiting a destination, people interested in transformative travel want to do something meaningful while they’re there, such as attending a silent meditation retreat, volunteering at an eco-village, or doing a fitness boot camp.
As the name suggests, these are mini holidays that take place over a few days rather than a few weeks. Micro-travel offers many of the benefits of a longer holiday but is less debilitating – professionally, financially and environmentally.
There are a few positive side effects to micro-travel. Instead of taking a few long-haul flights in a year, people are looking to explore their own backyard to minimise their impact on the environment as they travel. The travel trend encourages people to save money, while opting to support their local economy, as seen in Tourism Australia’s latest campaign Holiday Here This Year.
Taking micro-vacations also allows travellers to get away with more ease – shorter trips often mean avoiding jetlag as people choose to holiday in the same time zone, and it’s easier to negotiate time off work for a short trip.
4. Women-only travel
In 2020 there will be a strong trend towards female-centric travel groups.
Companies like Remote Lands regularly organise women-only trips in Southeast Asia, and women-owned and run adventure travel company AdventureWomen is a leader in tours developed exclusively by and for women.
Women are increasingly becoming interested in supporting and empowering other women when they travel. As such, they are planning their holidays to incorporate hiring female tour guides and visiting female-led initiatives and communities.
5. Active travel
Studies have shown that the healthiest people in the world don’t spend countless hours at the gym – they instead figure out ways to work natural activity into their lives.
The rising trend of active travel reflects a newfound reverence for this sort of exercise. More and more people are embracing active holidays such as long-term treks, cycling trips or boat-to-bike tours rather than more sedentary forms of travel.
Not only is this a great way to stay fit while on the road, but also an opportunity to see more than you might if stuck on a bus or on a plane.
As you plan your travel for 2020, consider these emerging trends.
TELL US: What travel trends do you anticipate in the year to come? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.