We don’t have a crystal ball but we do have a few good ideas about 2020. Ancestral itineraries. Missing smart phones. A lot more bicycles – here are the trends we predict will shape global travel over the coming decade.
Minimalism is IN
From micro hotels to ‘Spartan holidays’ to JOMO, “the joy of missing out”, the travel trend for 2020 and beyond is one of simplicity and authenticity. With the world suffering from over-tourism and major landmarks swarmed by tourists itching for the same perfect selfie, a real course correction is already on the horizon. By packing less, using an actual camera over an iPhone, and staying longer in fewer destinations, travellers are getting back to the true spirit of exploration – living in the moment and unplugging from the world they left behind.
Flying is OUT (as often as possible)
With the effects of climate change being felt daily, more and more travellers are looking to ditch planes and go old-school. Whether it’s picturesque train rides through the Alps, riding bicycles in Vietnam, or sailing the islands of the Mediterranean, small regional flights are out and alternative transport is in. Besides, who doesn’t want to tell their friends and family about how far they travelled in a solar-powered tuk-tuk?
Ancestry is IN
Home DNA kits have never been cheaper or more accessible and curious truth-seekers are taking advantage. Nearly 30 million people have already asked one of the oldest and most intimate questions. Where do I come from? After discovering connections with unexpected relatives, many are going a step further to physically trace back the roots of the family tree. A profoundly emotional and rewarding experience.
More than a vacation, it’s an epic pilgrimage celebrating life, diversity, and human connection.
Meat is OUT (if you want it)
Veganism, vegan restaurants, vegan retreats – vegan everything – has never been more popular. Not only is this welcome news for travellers who have been putting off certain destinations because finding food (that wasn’t once a furry friend) may have been too difficult in the past, but it’s a great avenue of culinary exploration for everyone else. It’s also a better way to eat for the health of the planet. Which is kind of a big deal if you enjoy globe-trotting on one.
Transformation is IN
Anytime you travel somewhere new it undoubtedly changes you. You see something totally different and amazing, get lost for a bit and then found, maybe eat something spicy you’ll never try again – but at the very least it’s why you go at all. To transform yourself into something different, something better. 2020 is seeing that evolve to a new level. Whether it’s running your first trail marathon, bending into a yoga or meditation retreat, volunteering in a struggling community, or simply choosing destinations that aren’t as popular – the idea is to build more meaning and purpose into a trip for a greater reward on the other side. For you and for the locals you support along the way.
The atmosphere is OUT (soon enough)
With companies like SpaceX taking rocket travel to new heights, along with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company about to crack the space tourist market, we’re entering the decade where travelling the earth changes forever. And it isn’t just leaving the atmosphere behind for short stints in space. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has stated that he wants to make commercial rocket flights available and affordable – for everyone – replacing the airplane as we know it. By leaving the friction of air behind these commuter rockets will have the potential to travel anywhere on earth, in under an hour. Soon, you’ll fire off from Sydney and won’t have enough time to finish a movie before you’re landing safely in London. But even if that’s not a reality by the end of the decade, as far as 2020 is concerned, the future of travel is certainly looking up.