When can we travel already? Are you constantly scrolling through travel sites during lockdown? You’re not the only one. According to Forbes, 95% of people spent their time researching holidays while they sat at home staring at the same grey walls and TV screen.
The photographs of exotic locations start you daydreaming about digging your toes into the soft sand of a faraway place. The sound of the ocean lazily rolling onto the beach before retreating into its sparkling pool of azure blue. A colorful cocktail in your hand and the sun warming your skin.
Then you snap out of it and realize to your dismay you’re still sitting staring at your grey walls, which were trendy at the time but now looks like the color has drained from it.
There is sun at the end of your grey walled tunnel. A survey by booking.com found that almost two thirds want to fly in the next year. While those in Europe and older people are less eager to travel, there are plenty who are already packing their suitcases, vaccine or not.
The travel industry has certainly suffered during this last year but with people ready to hop on planes, it’s about to pick up. The top travel trends 2021 might not be what you think.
If there’s one advantage to COVID and lockdowns, it’s that we have learned that life is short, and we need to enjoy it. No waiting to get a promotion before you go on that once in a lifetime holiday, no waiting until you retire. Do it now.
That’s why more people want to finally take that adventure holiday. With one in five 18 to 24 year old’s wanting to have the trip of a lifetime.
There has been an increase in interest in going to the Everest boot camp or hiking through luscious forest to gaze upon the ruins of the Incas.
The world is such a mesmerizing place, you want to be able to see as much of it as you can. To wonder at the green and purple lights across the black sky in Scandinavia. The colors swirling together like drops of paint being mixed together. Or dive beneath the waves at the Great Barrier Reef and admire the multi-colored world full of life.
Experiential travel is going to be the way forward. We want to see something unique, experience something outside of our regular lives, enjoy life when we can.
Before you get a mortgage or responsibilities (the word makes me shudder) then take the chance to do something that you’ll remember the rest of your life.
The older generations could learn from the younger ones and take that trip you always wanted to (although I must warn you, I won’t be held responsible for you not paying your mortgage or quitting your job in a moment of euphoria).
With all the money being saved sitting at home, it’s a great opportunity to take the plunge. Where would you go if you could pick one place to see?
You might suspect that people would be less enthusiastic about going on cruises since it was one of the first places to be hit by COVID. The conditions of being contained on a ship, the perfect breeding ground for the virus.
Surprisingly, 58% of people surveyed are happy to jump ship again.
Cruises are a great way of seeing a glimpse of different places at once. When your expenses are paid and all you have to worry about is shopping money, then it’s good value for money.
You don’t have to worry about transport or where you’ll eat, or where you’ll stay. You can explore different cultures and countries on one trip.
From Mediterranean, Asian, or world cruises. Stroll the piazzas of Italy, soak up the buzz of Lisbon, and relax in the luxury of Monaco, all in one trip.
You don’t have to go on a huge ship to enjoy a cruise. Take a more intimate cruise along the Rhine or through the fjords in Norway. With more people wanting to travel solo, it’s also a great way to find new friends.
The ships themselves offer entertainment, pools, activities, and spas. With skydiving and other adrenaline packed activities you can combine a cruise with a once in a lifetime experience.
Package holidays can sometimes get a bad rep for not being the best quality or attracting big groups of rowdy tourists. But if you select the right package then, like a cruise, you don’t have to worry about expenses once you get there.
With nearly a quarter more people likely to use a travel agent or tour operator than before. And why? They are secure and have up-to-date information, so you don’t have to worry about changing requirements for different countries.
How to find a great package holiday?
Society is becoming more conscious about being sustainable and environmentally friendly. That includes holidays.
During the first lockdowns we got a glimpse of what the world would be like without us pesky humans interfering. Pollution cleared from some of the most congested cities within weeks, wild animals started to roam freely. No, dolphins didn’t swim through the canals of Venice, but most of it was true.
The guilt we feel about harming our planet was emphasized when we saw the planet was better without us.
It’s no surprise then that the majority of people want more sustainable travel. We want to help support the recovery of the country we travel to, to help the economy and the locals.
Love it or hate it, working from home has become the new normal.
Technology has been a saving grace while we’ve been trapped indoors. We’ve been able to stay in touch with family and friends by video calls and work from home. All you need is a laptop and internet connection and you’re good to go. So why not work from your own villa with private pool?
Workcations are going to be the new business travel trend. You can work whatever hours you must then close that laptop and take a dip in the pool. Spend your nights strolling through cobblestones streets, sipping wine outside of cafes instead of watching TV surrounded by your grey walls.
Technology can make it safer for us to travel too. Contactless payments, luggage tracking, and regular updates are the way forward. Any businesses not already making sure technology is at the heart of their business is going to be lagging behind.
Once we’re able to travel, you might find you want to pick somewhere that you know you’re going to enjoy.
Lots of people want to go back to familiar places that are tried and tested. You know what you’re getting, you know you like it, and it might stop some of the anxiety of travelling in a post-COVID world.
Or perhaps you’ve missed somewhere you used to go every year. Maybe it was to see family and friends.
We just want to get back to normality and visiting somewhere you know feels familiar and comforting like a hug, after these tough times.
Having to stay close to home has shown us what beauty already surrounds us. We’ve got a new appreciation for our local area, which is why staycations are still going to be popular.
There will still be a lot of nervous travelers who will prefer not to travel by plane and instead opting for jumping in the car. It may not always be better weather than abroad but some of the landscapes across the UK are unique and better than you would get elsewhere.
Hiking across Ben Nevis or rowing across Windemere gives that sense of freedom we’ve all been missing.
Staycations also require less travel. And the faster you can get to your destination, the faster you can get the party started. Or put your feet up and relax. Whatever you prefer.
We love our pets. With a quarter of the population owning a dog, it’s no surprise that we want to take them on holiday. After all, they’ve had a tough year too. Actually, they’ve probably been loving it with their owners unable to leave their homes.
Buckle your dog (or cat) in the back seat and off you go (I don’t think a cat would appreciate that, but it’s up to you).
There are more and more hotels welcoming dogs or portioning of certain rooms for dog owners. Dog friendly cafes are popping up everywhere, serving puppacinos and dog biscuits to your pampered pooch.
There’s even seen dog and owner spa day. You and your dog will both be glowing after your spa treatments. You may not want to put your furbaby in the jacuzzi though, to float around like a cow caught in a tornado.
Like a hamster in one of those balls that speeds off when it’s set on the floor, once out of the house we want wide open spaces.
An increase in countryside retreats is expected to be on the rise. We’ve grown more thankful for the beauty in nature, along with not wanting to be in crowded places (and poking people with a big stick when they get too close doesn’t tend to go down well).
Apartment stays are a growing trend with more people wanting to stay away from crowds and preferring to each in. Apartments give you privacy to enjoy quality time together and some of them are height of luxury.
Anyone fancy living in an apartment decked out like the Palace of Versailles, overlooking the Eiffel Tower?
In the age of uncertainty (when has anything ever been certain?) more and more people want assurances before they put down that deposit.
We don’t want deposits taken from us for cancelling if it’s COVID’s fault, not ours.
Businesses have had to get used to offering a more flexible service to encourage people to continue travelling. Offering refunds or letting us book another time if things don’t turn out as planned.
Flexibility is going to be one of the first things people look out for before handing over any money.
Hopefully, it won’t be long before we’re all out and about again. And when we do, we can help the world recover if we travel sustainably. In the time being we can spend our time browsing online for the perfect holiday.
Creating wish lists of places to go, buying sunglasses, and renewing passports so we can head out the minute travel restrictions are lifted. For now, we’ll dream of sunshine, stunning landscapes, and freedom.
Which one would you pick?