As we move into a new decade, our travel desires and habits are changing to reflect our new desires and wishes when it comes to adventuring and experiencing more of the world.
Below are some of the key travel trends I think will shape 2020 and the next few years. Do you recognise any of these from what you’ve been looking for personally? Do you disagree with any?
Train and Non-Air Travel
With the growing rise of ‘flight-shame’ and awareness of the environmental impact regular plane travel has on the planet and climate, people are looking for alternative methods of transport when it comes to planning their next adventures.
Because of this, train, boat and car travel will see an increase in popularity as people combine a more eco-friendly way to arrive with a scenic journey to their destination.
In 2020, we have reached the joint decision to fly for only one ‘long-haul’ trip where we can’t reach the destination by other means, and then continue the rest of our adventures through other modes of transport. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start and lets us test what travel through different means really looks like.
We will be embracing bikes, trains and long road trips to see as much as the world on our doorstep as we can. (Although for full disclosure, this excludes required business travel and trips to see family back in the UK seen as we have a new arrival this year that many want to meet.)
The usual seven or ten day traditional holiday is moving over and making room for the rapid rise in shorter mini-breaks and weekends away. Younger generations are becoming more ‘leave-savvy’ when it comes to using their hard earned vacation days, and want to utilise them to see and experience more places.
Therefore, we are seeing a rapid rise in three night destination hops rather than the longer week long holiday to disconnect and unwind. For 2020 and beyond, expect to see more people heading off for long weekends three to four times a year than one big all-expenses holiday in the summer.
We have been huge fans of mini-breaks for years’ now, and spend a good few hours every January working out how to best structure our leave to maximise our adventures for the coming year. Add a day onto public holidays, travel when quiet, and make the most of your weekends with amazing experiences to be found just an hour or two away.
Travelling with Pets
According to Mintel, 59% of British consumers now have a pet, and the biggest trend for growth when it comes to ownership is thanks to the younger millennials (21-30) who are now adopting a furry friend at the same time as their parents were choosing to have children.
With this rise in younger pet households comes the rise in people travelling with their furry companions. Pet friendly hotels, planes and restaurant demand is on the rapid rise. 52% of American millennial pet owners will now take their pet with them if they are away from home for more than two nights.
For those who find it harder to travel with their pets, such as those with cats, smaller mammals or animals who don’t quite like the journey, there’s also been a boom in services to support this. Sites like Trusted Housesitters have been gaining rapid popularity, and for good reason.
Some of the best airlines to travel with a pet are JetBlue, Air France and Swiss Airlines according to independent reviews. Plus, the best countries to travel to or live with a dog? France, Switzerland, Italy and Canada top the list thanks to their pet friendly ways of life.
Our cats love to travel in the car for short trips, but we don’t think they would quite like a longer journey. So we love sites like Trusted Housesitters and local cat friendly hotels for short breaks away or cat sitting support.
My brother and sister in-law are literally the leaders in travelling with pets. Their dog Hiro has been alongside them as they take a gap year flying with them to Canada, the US, Mexico, Costa Rica and much more.
A survey by Sainsbury’s in the summer of 2019 predicted that 25% of Brits would be vegetarian or vegan by 2025. This accounts for the rise in demand for both vegan hotels, and eco-tourism and more ethical travel.
People are becoming more aware of their travel footprint, choosing to take ‘no-waste’ amenity kits with them on breaks, seeking out vegan or vegetarian hotels to stay in and paying to offset their carbon footprints for each flight, delivery or service they use.
I love to see it on sites like Viator, where tour companies are now offering more ethical excursions so you can see more of a country without damaging it through your tourist footprint.
There’s been a huge growth in people travelling and going away with their extended family and it’s something I think will keep being popular for many years to come.
As more people lead busier lives, or live further away from each other, the chance to all meet up together in an exciting new destination and to make memories as a family is really appealing.
There’s been a surge in families booking large rentals, such as through sites like AirBnb, and making the most of both their destination but also time at the lodgings together to just relax, reconnect and make lasting memories.
Whilst technology is a great enabler for every day life, often people are looking towards their holidays as a way of escaping the constant buzz and noise of being always connected.
A lot of ‘technology-free’ retreats, hotels and vacations are popping up which promise a chance for you to truly disconnect for a period of time. An opportunity to go back to basics and enjoy reading, nature, hiking or the sights around you without online distractions.
Honestly, this is something I want to try more in 2020. Perhaps not at a ‘technology-free’ retreat, but by leaving our phones behind in the hotel safe, the laptops at home, and properly disconnecting when away. We did this in the South of France late last year, to the level that we had several people asking if we had got there safe and everything was okay as they hadn’t seen any updates on our Instagram about being there.
It was a big reality check for us, and needless to say we now put the phones away during the day and only then upload any photos or highlights of the day when back at our hotel in the evening.
Tied with the rise in eco-tourism, as well as the desire to discover more about the beautiful sites on your doorstep, there’s no surprise that staycations are seeing a boom in popularity again amongst travellers.
Whether it’s venturing out to discover hidden gems in your own country, or even just getting together a lot of little luxuries for a weekend hidden away at home, a staycation can really help you relax and recharge without having to (a) spend a fortune or (b) travel far.
With our first child arriving in just a few months, I hope to use 2020 as a chance to explore more locally, giving us the thrill of going away without the stress of flights, travel and paperwork. Camping is a big love of ours, so we hope that this is one way we can achieve this in the summer.