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New decade, new travel trends: What does 2020 have in store?

It’s 2020 and it’s the dawn of a new and exciting decade – YAY! It’s always such a thrill knowing there’s a fresh New Year stretching before us just waiting to be filled up with all kinds of memorable travel moments and adventures. Maybe that’s why we love to look ahead and take note of some of the travel trends set to lead the way over the next 12 months – here’s what on our radar.

1. Green travel continues to grow

There’s no getting away from it: people are becoming more and more environmentally conscious and it was only a matter of time before that spilled over into the world of travel. What we’re seeing though is the upward trend of more high-end luxury places getting into the sustainability game. They’re saying goodbye to things like single-use plastics (like those in the form of miniature toiletries) and hello to changes like solar energy. The need to “go green” is definitely expanding.

2. Veer off the path and take the road less travelled

Travelling off-the-beaten-track seems to be quite an attractive way to explore for many people. Not only does it mean you’ll end up discovering those hidden gems, but it also probably means avoiding the usual touristy crowds, as well as the high prices that come with them. Fittingly, this has been dubbed “undertourism”, and we simply love the idea.

3. A return to more old-school travel

Thanks to people becoming more aware of the environmental impact of plane travel (which has led to the recent phenomenon of “flight shaming”)”, travellers are now looking for alternative ways to travel which in turn has led to a growing interest in older forms of transport: enter boats and trains. People are also coming around to the idea of taking a little longer to get around if it means travelling via a unique form of transport, and if they simultaneously get to help reduce the carbon footprint, then that’s an added bonus.

4. Connection through disconnection: the rise of the “Spartan holiday”

Spartan holidays are all about travelling light and combining a digital detox with clean, minimalist living. The idea is to free people up, both physically and mentally, by travelling with the bare minimum. In this way, without all the added frills, you should be able to connect more easily and better with not only yourself but your surroundings too, providing the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature especially. It’s really a breath of fresh air.

5. Bring on the micro-cations

Without a doubt, shorter trips are trending. At the end of the day, it’s easier to fit a short (and usually close) trip into our hectic everyday schedules. This is seemingly being picked up by time-poor working millennials who are then able to recharge not only in a shorter period of time, but also more frequently. It seems that “less is more” has found its place in the travel sphere.

6. Pet-friendly getaways

For some, the thought of leaving their beloved pooch at home during a getaway is enough to make them want to cancel their plans all together. Travellers are therefore seeking out more pet-friendly escapes that provide all they need to relax and unwind, while at the same time accommodating their four-legged friends. In fact, they’re often willing to pay higher rates if it means their pets are welcome too.

7. Say hello to the “friendmoon”

This may seem like a rather strange one but it’s becoming the more popular choice. A lot of newlyweds are exchanging romantic couple’s getaways for a big, spectacular trip (often to somewhere sunny) with their friends as a way of celebrating after their marriage. It’s an excellent way to continue the festivities even after the wedding is done and enjoy a memorable adventure with your near and dear.

8. Travel that is transformative

Nowadays, travellers are not only looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, but also those that change, shape and stay with them for years to come. Things like interacting more with locals, contributing to the places they stay or learning a new skill are fast becoming more and more important - it’s all about experiences that yield positive changes on a deeper, more personal level.

9. More personalised experiences

Bespoke travel should never be underestimated. Few things come close to the luxury of enjoying a fully planned trip that was designed in line with all your wants and needs. A personalised experience means you get to enjoy a place your way, plus with the caliber of destination specialists today who expertly curate every last detail for you, you’re guaranteed an adventure for the books.

Speaking of destination specialists: get in touch with our amazing Portfolio Journeys team if Africa is calling your name!

10. Going vegan

With a healthily growing interest in veganism that has resulted in more and more people adopting a plant-based diet, there has been the realisation that there’s a whole new group of people needing to be accommodated when it comes to travel. From restaurants, to hotels and retreats, it’s becoming more common, and in the future we expect to see full-on vegan-only trips, cooking classes and more in a wide variety of destinations. In a way, this also ties in with ecotourism.

Also on the radar:

  • Surf holidays
  • Foodie airports
  • Women-only trips

Right, now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to head off and get planning for the year ahead – 12 months are almost always never enough!

Click here to read our blog on what was trending last year in 2019.