Top 2020 Travel Trends to Know

2020 Travel Trends to Know
At the dawn of the new decade, not only is a new generation of travellers coming of age (Gen Z, aged 10 to 25) but there is also mass awareness of climate change, and how every individual needs to be responsible for their own carbon footprint – if that means flying less and planting trees, so be it. As Trump gears up to fight for a second term in office and the fallout from Brexit motivates people to travel beyond the costly confines of Europe, over- tourism will also force us to re-evaluate where we go, swapping crowded hotspots such as Venice and Santorini for less familiar destinations.

Here are 15 travel trends for 2020…



The time has finally come for Virgin Galactic to take members of the public on 90-minute sub-orbital hops into space. In summer 2019, it published photos of its new departure lounge at Spaceport America, where the first amateur cosmonauts will prepare for their ascent aboard VSS Unity at some point over the coming months – providing there are no setbacks. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin space company hopes to launch crewed test flights of its New Shepard craft in 2020, in preparation for sending up its first space tourists. Space X plans to take a Japanese billionaire around the moon in 2023 and 100 paying earthlings a week could be visiting the first-ever space hotel by 2025. Built specifically for commercial use, the Von Braun Rotating Space Station, which looks like a giant Ferris wheel, will have bars, restaurants and even private residences for sale.



Swimwear will be optional in 2020 as naked holidays take off. Anyone who has gone for a spontaneous skinny dip will know the liberating feeling of being without clothes, which may be what over-technologised, highly urbanised people are in serious need of. It’s about being human, finding connections and embracing vulnerability. London nude restaurant the Bunyadi is looking for funding to reopen, but with influencers such as @naturistgirl amassing more than 78,000 followers, posing in the buff (tastefully) in beautiful locations is set to be big on Instagram. Embrace your inner naturist with nude hikes, camping, canoeing, cruises, wild swimming and yoga.


According to the Vegan Society, if the whole world went meat-free by 2050, it would save eight million human lives and reduce greenhouse gases by two thirds. As increasing numbers of people choose to shun meat and animal products (a survey by Sainsbury’s in the summer of 2019 predicted that 25 per cent of Brits would be vegetarian or vegan by 2025), demand for hotels which cater to that choice is going to accelerate. When it opened last June, Saorsa 1875 became the UK’s first vegan hotel, with 11 rooms at its Perthshire location. No wool, silk or feather duvets appear in the rooms and the restaurant is purely plant-based. It’s only a matter of time before more like it enter the market.



Home DNA tests have been available for a while but their potential for inspiring travel to the places where people’s forebears are from is only just gathering pace. A report in MIT Technology Review revealed that, by the start of 2019, 26 million people had taken an ancestry DNA test at home, and Airbnb’s recent partnership with DNA lab 23andMe now helps to encourage travellers to go in search of their roots. As nationalist attitudes seem to be on the rise, the counter trend will see individuals seeking out shared genetic links and cultural synergies.



Surfing will be an Olympic sport for the first time in the 2020 games in Japan. Condé Nast Traveller has long been reporting on the best surfing holidays in the world but as the uptake of the sport grows like never before – particularly among women –, specialist retreats from fast-expanding outfits such as Selina, Pegasus Lodges, and Soul and Surf are giving beginners the chance to slip into a wetsuit. Artificial waves are catching on too, with companies such as Wavegarden building ambitious surf parks that produce up to 1,000 tubes an hour (the largest in the world will be in South Korea when it opens in 2020).


Twin beds are boring. A new trend for hotels with bunks is transforming options for families and groups of friends. An early innovator is Life House, which already has three hotels in Miami, with a fourth opening on Miami Beach in 2020, plus one in Nantucket and one in Brooklyn. The Bohemian Suite in its chic Little Havana property sleeps four, with two pairs of double beds stacked side by side like on a spacious sleeper train. Coming soon, Hilton’s new Motto brand will be kitted out with single bunks over double beds in some rooms, while bunks can also be found at Jo&Joe, Moxy, Ace and Freehand, as well as the Siren in Detroit and Palihotel in Seattle



Emission-free flying sounds like an unattainable fantasy but the reality is that it’s just around the corner. Rolls-Royce is planning to launch a test flight of its debut electric plane, ACCEL, in 2020, which is capable of flying at 300mph (compared with a Boeing 787 that typically flies at 560mph). Meanwhile, Airbus’s experimental electric E-Fan X aircraft is set to take off in 2021. Israel’s Eviation intends for its commercial all-electric plane Alice to take to the skies in 2022, and Easyjet has partnered with Wright Electric with the aim of having a fleet of electric planes by 2030.



Thanks to Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg, the concept of flygskam, which translates as flight shame, will prompt responsible travellers to think more carefully about how often and where they fly to. As a consequence, the new decade will see many people turning to trains instead of planes. European train operator TGV Lyria is betting on higher demand already, with a 30 per cent increase on services from Paris to various destinations in Switzerland. Even airlines such as KLM are asking passengers to fly less.



Spartan holidays combine the idea of a digital detox with minimalist living, whereby you travel with as little as possible and only pack a few analogue accessories. The idea is to free people up, physically as well as mentally, and to help them connect with their self and their surroundings by sketching with a pencil and paper, for example, or setting off on a tech-free hike, as well as packing only one spare pair of underwear. The rise in forest micro hotels is evidence of how this trend is catching on, as people book stays in hideouts designed to be removed from the modern world by companies such as Fuselage, Unyoked and Vipp Shelter. Meanwhile, the Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, excels in tiny holiday home rentals.


Carbon offsetting has been around for years but no one has paid much attention to it. However, as the reality of a climate crisis looms travellers in 2020 and beyond will need to do everything they can to balance the negative impact of their trips with positives. At the very least, this means donating money to renewable energy projects, using new ethical search engine Ecosia Travel to book hotels (it uses profits to plant trees) and choosing Positive Luxury-approved brands (look for the Butterfly Mark, which indicates a commitment to sustainability) such as The Evolved Traveler and Balance Holidays. 



Inspired by the rootless essence of camping, 700,000 Heures is setting a trend for nomadic hotels that move around the world. Emerging in a different location every six months, it temporarily transforms extravagant private homes, transferring staff and a collection of more than 100 trunks that open out into bars, benches and sinks so guests can sup and sleep under the stars wherever they choose. From April to November 2020, it will take over two sites in Japan – a temple in Koyasan and a traditional house in Ine, a fishing village near Amanohashidate.


Moving on from the era of crowded and stressful budget flights, boarding a plane is increasingly becoming an opportunity to have fun. Airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, Qatar Airways and Emirates already have bars in first and business class, but some companies plan to take it even further. Design studio Aim Altitude, for example, has designed Ultraflex social spaces for super-long-haul flights that include areas for yoga and communal dining, while French aircraft manufacturer Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have proposed that cargo holds be turned into rest zones with bunk beds, kids’ play areas, clinics and lounges. Each fully furnished section would be contained in a pod that could be slid in and out of the belly of the plane. 


With Airbnb increasingly listing hotels on its platform, and hotels attempting to create properties with more of a local feel, it’s no wonder hybrid home-tels are starting to catch on. Much more inspiring than often-bland apart-hotels are companies such as Domio, which has a portfolio of designer properties across the USA and London that come with 24/7 guest support and branded amenities, while Veeve – with homes in London, LA and Paris – will go as far as picking you up from the airport and filling the fridge with your favourite snacks. And with professional housekeeping, you won’t have to make your bed either. 


Not so long ago, it was a bonus to find a Wagamama at the airport, but the next few years are set to see a revolution in high-end airport dining, which is part of a wider trend for aviation hubs becoming destinations in themselves. Beijing Daxing International, which opened in September 2019, has a branch of Chee Kei, a Michelin-recommended wonton noodle outlet. Meanwhile, the new Jewel Terminal at Singapore Changi has scores of cafés and restaurants, including cake boutiques and London export Burger and Lobster. In the USA, the retro-cool TWA Hotel at JFK, which also arrived in 2019, has a Mad Men-cool restaurant, Paris Café, from top chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. 


Richard Branson’s new Virgin Voyages will take to the seas in 2020. Its maiden vessel, the Scarlet Lady, has been designed to appeal to Generation Y and Z in a way that no other cruise line has yet managed to do. There will be Tom Dixon-designed interiors, a tattoo parlour, karaoke studios, an open-air gym, a vinyl record shop curated by music producer Mark Ronson, bars serving its own brand of craft beer, and all-inclusive restaurants such as Razzle Dazzle serving vegan Impossible Burgers and CBD cocktails



BestLife Insider - Health, Lifestyle, Travel and More ...: Top 2020 Travel Trends to Know
Top 2020 Travel Trends to Know
BestLife Insider - Health, Lifestyle, Travel and More ...
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