Travel Trends For 2021
With autumn now here, we wave goodbye to summer 2020. It’s certainly been a different summer in many ways, no more so than with regard to our holidays, with many of us having opted for a staycation instead of going abroad as we usually would or having to cancel or reschedule trips due to changing rules and quarantine requirements.
While COVID-19 is still impacting our lives, it’s important to stay positive and one way to do this if you love to travel is to look at where you might like to head in 2021. And to provide some inspiration the Switched On team offers up it’s take on what the emerging trends are and, all being well, what’s set to be hot next year.
Sustainable travel has been a hot topic amongst more environmentally-conscious travellers for the past five years or so, but there’s no doubt it’s mainstream now. As our movements are restricted now, our carbon footprint is dwindling. We’re pumping less CO2 into the air, and well-trodden destinations are having some much-needed time to recover. This is one of the few silver linings of the pandemic. Booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Report for 2020 found that 82 per cent of global travellers have said sustainable travel is important to them, and 58 per cent said they want to make more sustainable travel choices once we can explore again. There are a broad range of ways to travel more sustainably, like taking train and coach journeys instead of flying, staying in eco-hotels, and eating local cuisine.
It’s no surprise that after living through a global pandemic, health-boosting holidays will be a priority for many. Speaking to the Evening Standard, Jean-François Ferret, Chief Executive Officer of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, said that spa resorts will be popular “as people focus on improving physical and mental health”. After all, we’re all more aware of our immune systems and the value of staying healthy. This means many travellers might not be in the mood for traditional fly and flop breaks and will instead choose holidays that help to boost their health, from scenic hiking trips to rejuvenating spa and yoga breaks.
With the focus on social distancing, many people will be feeling nervous about being in large crowds, even as we push on through 2021. For this reason, travel experts seem to have reached the consensus that holidaymakers will opt for trips to off-the-beaten track destinations with sparse populations. “Many Maldivian islands already operate in-house or shared doctors, which will reassure holidaymakers,” James Bell, Managing Director of Turquoise Holidays told Good Housekeeping. It doesn’t sound like a bad way to social distance to us.
Staycations are likely to remain popular next year. Since lockdown first eased in August, staycations became one of the first holiday options open to Brits, encouraging us to finally explore all the beautiful sights that are available right on our doorstep. As the New Year rolls around, this trend will no doubt continue. This could be in part because people are discovering the wonders of the UK, and also because some will view flying to a destination as more complicated than they’d like, due to new health and safety measures. According to James Jayasundera, Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Travel, people will discover that staycations can be as fun as venturing abroad. This, he believes, could even lead to the long-term revival of UK seaside and spa towns. Stick of rock, anyone?