Lifestyle

The top travel trends for 2020, according to experts



With the start of a new decade just days away, it’s time to think about how we want to travel in 2020. 

The past decade has been all about travelling for the ‘gram, with Bali, Japan and Mexico being hotspots. Yet, 2019 saw a shift in the way we look at travel as we try to lower our individual carbon footprints, opting for train and land-based travel over jetting off on a plane to remote destinations. 

This theme will continue into the ‘20s, where we will see a rise in the eco-conscious traveller who is looking for a slower way to travel and searching for more off the beaten track experiences. 


So whether you’re looking to tap into your circadian rhythm, book a foodie city break  or travel to the world’s most sustainable country, experts from leading travel sites have predicted what to expect from travel in 2020 below. 

Eco travel will continue to rise in 2020

While Greta Thunberg championed eco travel in 2019, making us all more conscious about the way we see the world, 2020 will be the year we put it to action. According to research from Booking.com, 76 per cent of Gen Z travellers say they would use more environmentally friendly means of transportation once they have arrived at their destination – so expect to see a large rise in train and bus travel in 2020.

Cornwall is the most popular spot for a 2020 staycation

A survey from Sykes Holiday Cottages has named Cornwall as the most popular staycation destination for Brits in 2020. The Cornish coast ranked first in a poll of 2,000 travellers, followed by the Lake District, Devon and the Scottish Highlands.

Tech will play a larger role in how we travel

According to Booking.com’s 2020 travel predictions report, 59 per cent of people want tech to offer them ‘wildcard’ and surprise options when they’re looking for places to visit. The report says: “2020 will see more applications of Artificial Intelligence offering tailored suggestions of destinations to visit, places to stay and things to do based on your current preferences, previous trips and key contextual factors such as weather and popularity.”

Circadian travel will see a rise in sleep retreats

A survey by wellness travel specialists Health and Fitness Travel found that 35 per cent of Brits have ‘long-standing’ sleep problems due to stress and worry, which can cause a shift in our internal biological clocks. Enter ‘circadian travel’, a new trend for 2020 which will see the popularity of sleep retreats rise as it can help to reset your circadian rhythm and help you get a better night’s rest. 

Slow travel will see tourists make ‘deeper connections’ with destinations

ABTA – the UK trade association for tour operators and travel agents – has predicted that slow travel will be one of the top travel trends for 2020. It says: “‘Slow travel’ is as much about enjoying the journey as it is the destination, and a less packed itinerary takes the pressure off having to visit all the usual tourist hotspots. With more time in one destination, it can potentially reduce the journey footprint and provide travellers with the chance to support more locally run businesses – resulting in a positive impact on the local economy and community.” 

‘Micro-cations’ will replace weekend breaks

According to the experts at Preferred Hotels & Resorts a ‘micro-cation’ – defined as a holiday consisting of less than four nights – is rising in popularity among all age groups. Caroline Klein, Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Preferred Hotels, says: “In a world where everyone is constantly connected, micro-cations offer an ideal opportunity to unwind and recharge in shorter, more frequent intervals.” Klein suggests adding on a few days of annual leave to a work trip to try and see more of your destination and take a few days to relax and recoup. 

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Brits will head back to Tunisia in 2020

According to Skyscanner’s 2020 Travel Trends report Enfidha on Tunisia’s northern coast has seen a 96.11 per cent increase in bookings to be named as the platform’s top emerging destination for 2020. This comes five years after the Foreign Office placed a travel ban on Tunisia after a terrorist attack in Sousse in June 2015 – this ban was later lifted in 2017. 

Transformational travel will change the way we engage with the world

If 2019 was all about eco travellers, then 2020 will see the rise of the transformational traveller. Transformational travel is described as ‘intentionally travelling to stretch, learn and grow into new ways of being and engaging with the world’ and Kristie Goshow, Chief Marketing Officer at Preferred Hotels & Resorts suggests it will “enable travellers to immerse themselves in the virtues of travel, be they emotional, social, physical or spiritual”. 

Foodies should head to Lithuania in 2020

The ideal city break, lastminute.com has named Lithuania as its top foodie destination for 2020. With a 51 per cent increase in year on year bookings, Lithuania offers hearty and tasty cuisines based on local produce and foraging. 

Bhutan tops the list as the most sustainable destination for 2020

Experts at Lonely Planet, Hotels.com and Rough Guides has named Bhutan as the top destination for 2020, due to it being carbon negative, becoming the world’s first fully organic nation in 2020 and that it “operates a ‘high-value, low-impact’ tourism policy” and charges a daily fee to set foot in its monastery crowned hills.



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