The travel industry is constantly changing and as travellers, we try to keep up with it yet influence it at the same time. A new decade is bound to bring with a myriad of changes and it seems that they are already here. Planning your trips for 2020, there are a few of this year’s travel trends to keep in mind.

Last year, it was all about chasing the night skies (think Northern Lights in Iceland) and finding the most instagramable places (hello gorgeous Instagram photos of Petra). 2020’s travel trends are all about helping the planet and fighting over-tourism. Some trends are a development of previous years while others touch upon cultural changes.

Studying the research of some of the globe’s most influential travel sites (Forbes, Independent UK, Conde Nast Traveller, National Geographic and Booking.com) here are some of the top travel trends for 2020.

Ancestry Travel

old photographs

Remember those home DNA test kits that found popularity in 2019? They were such a hit that now, they have caused a global phenomenon with millions of people looking into their roots. As Conde Nast Traveller explains in its 2020 travel trends piece, 26 million people had taken an ancestry test by the start of 2019, as the MIT Technology Review revealed.

Ancestral tourism is a thing and more people are expected to go on voyages to find links connected to their ancestors and cultures.

Sources: Conde Nast Traveller, Independent UK

Pet-cations

dog on the road

Taking pets on holidays and selecting accommodations that are pet-friendly is a growing wonder as Booking.com notices. Vacations focused on pets and where they are welcomed are increasing as 42% of global pet owners say they would choose holiday destinations depending on whether they offer pet restaurants, pet spas and designed areas for your furry best friends.

Sources: Booking.com, Forbes

Choosing low-season

solo travel

Travelling during the off-peak season might not be entirely new, yet as popular destinations reach maximum capacity and tourists are more and more obsessed with avoiding their own kind, choosing to travel during the low season is becoming more common. It’s also a way to keep costs down with cheaper flight fares and hotel prices.

Sources: Independent UK

The rise of second-city travel

city in europe

Coming in hand-in-hand with over-tourism, opting to go to slightly lesser-known destinations will see a rise in 2020. Leaving the crowds behind in Venice and Machu Pichu, more travellers will seek second-city travel, meaning hidden destinations with fewer crowds and more original experiences.

54% of world travellers want to help reduce over-tourism and 60% would be interested in a service that highlights destinations where tourism would positively affect local communities, according to Booking.com. We expect that it won’t be long until companies pick up on this and we’re excited to find even more destinations to discover!

Sources: Booking.com, Forbes

All aboard the train

train travel

With the same mindset of reducing impact is the influx of conscious travellers choosing to travel by train rather than an airplane to reduce their carbon footprint, inspired by Greta Thunberg. This might not be feasible for everyone if they don’t border other countries, but exciting train journeys like the Tran Siberian and Australia’s new Great Southern make it all the more popular. The inaugural London to Amsterdam Eurostar highspeed service to start on April 30 will also make it easier to travel around.

Sources: Independent UK, Forbes, Conde Nast Traveller

Travel sustainably

plane in the sky

Ditching plane rides aren’t the only thing frequent travellers have begun doing. As the world’s first black woman to travel to all of the countries of the globe, Jessica Nabongo, exclusively told us in an interview, she doesn’t travel without her reusable water bottle, cutlery and straw.

It’s all about fighting single-use plastics. Saying no to hotel freebies and bringing your own are two simple ways to go about it. Companies have picked up on this trend too by offering eco-friendly products and electrical cars. Some airlines have even started marking which flights emit less CO2.

Flying emission-free may seem impossible, but is it? Rolls-Royce is planning to test an electric plane in 2020 and more companies are following in their footsteps. Airbus’s electric E-Fan X aircraft is scheduled for take-off in 2021 while Israel’s Eviation plans to realise its commercial electric plane Alice in 2022, as Conde Nast Traveller writes. Joining the game in 2030 is EasyJet as they’ve partnered with Wright Electric in hopes to also have electric planes.

Sources: Conde Nast Traveller, Forbes, National Geographic

Micro-holidays

man at airport

Forget about long-haul flights and going away for weeks at a time. As the time-deprived working millennials enter the travel sector fiercely, short-term vacations are picking up. Today’s travellers would rather have a 3-4 days holiday if that means travelling more often, rather than spending 14 days of their working holidays to go to Peru. And it’s not just about saving money. Micro-vacations are popular because collecting experiences and getting away often is what travel is about these days.

It’s all about seeing more, travelling closer to home (thus avoiding jetlag) and blending travel into a working week.

Sources: Independent UK, Forbes, National Geographic