As many of us are still unpacking our suitcases from holiday travels back home, we’re also mentally unpacking the stress that is delayed flights, tedious road trips and screaming children around every corner. But a new year brings new resolutions, fresh perspectives and new experiences, especially when it comes to travel.
We’ve investigated the top five travel trends for 2020, and not one of these involves Grandma’s “famous” casserole. From mindful trips that help you reconnect to women-only trips that build genuine camaraderie, 2020 travel trends are all about experiencing the world in new and fantastic ways. Cue your playlist and explore the top five travel trends for 2020.
5 Travel Trends for 2020
Have Appetite, Will Travel
Everyone knows that calories don’t really count on vacation, so why not put those elasticized pants to work by taking a food-centric trip?! Trips focused on local cuisine, cooking basics and other food-related subjects vary, so food enthusiasts should peel back each itinerary like a delicious onion.
The International Kitchen (TIK) knows how to do culinary travel right. The minds behind TIK are self-described “foodies and travel nerds,” who create delicious trips around the world, focused on hands-on cooking classes, dining excursions, tours of a city’s food culture and more. Food is one of the best parts of any good vacation, and TIK focuses on this element of travel by choosing delectable destinations, world-renowned for their culinary prowess, as well as their beauty.
If you want a truly authentic food experience, book with Traveling Spoon. This travel company connects travelers to locals around the world — vetted hosts who wish to share a homecooked meal with someone open and willing to learn about the regional culture. Participating travelers visit Traveling Spoon’s website and select their host and travel dates. Once the details align, an email reservation is created and travelers can then accept, confirm and pay for their one-of-a-kind culinary experience. Besides enjoying in-home meals from hosts, people can add in-home cooking classes, market tours and other food-centric activities (I’m all about the truffle hunting and tasting in Croatia).
In our rush-rush world of overused devices and instantaneous communication, we’re occasionally guilty of not paying attention to our surroundings. So, in 2020, it’s all about getting off the grid and getting on the same wavelength to the world around us — think of it like deep breathing, meditation or therapy in a fun, travel size.
Travel company, Getaway, launched as a way to help guests “meaningfully disconnect and recharge from the noise and stresses of modern life” by offering collections of tiny cabins, called “outposts,” in various parts of the country. Getaway Chattahoochee, the company’s first Southern outpost, opened last fall. (And since it’s located in the north Georgia mountains, no passport required!) The property features 21 custom-built tiny cabins (either in two-person or four-person units; 140 to 200 square feet) with expansive windows that look out to the beauty of the surrounding 57-acre forest landscape.
As the company puts it, “Getaway is more than the beautiful tiny house nestled in the woods — it’s about disconnecting and living in the present moment … Our mission is to offer an experience worth coming straight back to — deep and simple enough to help you find yourself, revel in nature and rekindle the connections most important to you.”
The cabins have standard amenities (beds, linens, private bathroom, etc.) and some not so obvious ones, like the absence of WiFi and a cellphone lockbox if the temptation becomes too great. Guests enjoy a cozy outdoor area, with Adirondack chairs and a fire pit, with the option to purchase additional items like firewood and provisions.
By “getting lost” without getting too lost, travelers get to just be … be in the moment, be at one with themselves, and be still and at peace with the world.
Solo travel is another popular new trend, connecting mind, body and spirit to surrounding locations. This focus on “me time” allows travelers to better understand their own needs while experiencing the culture of people all around them.
RELATED: How to Pack for Your Next Getaway
Another travel trend this year is small, curated trips for women that only include a clientele of one gender. In fact, some companies’ itineraries simultaneously focus solely on women throughout the world.
Travel company Wild Terrains shows support for businesses aligned with women’s equality and rights. Owner Lauren Bates and her company work to craft unique trips to places like Mexico City and Portugal, with transformative itineraries entirely focused on women-owned businesses. Travelers get to share intimate conversations with local women, enjoy amazing dinners led by famous female chefs, sleep in wonderful woman-owned hotels and more.
If adventure is what your gal pals seek in 2020, the signature women’s trips from Mojo Active Adventures are the perfect escape. Besides naming the company after its founder, Molly Jo Mathis, Mojo Active Adventures offers women the chance to unleash their “magic power,” or mojo, through unique trips. In 2020 alone, Mojo has announced a Mayan luxury jungle adventure in Belize, a multisport experience in Iceland, a rainforest adventure in Costa Rica and many more cool trips.
Personal Growth and Development
Instead of coming home with useless tchotchkes from your latest travels, return with a souvenir for your soul. A travel trend for 2020 is about bridging personal goals and interests with a global adventure. These trips and workshops offer a specific theme, offering a one-of-a-kind experience within a luxurious setting.
We told you about Annette Joseph, author and Southern stylist, and her Italian workshops and retreats in our “2020 Health & Wellness Trends” article last week. These trips focus on unleashing creativity and personal growth, and this year’s trip topics include Mark Making With Nature; How to Publish Your Cookbook; Slow Food Experience; Her Dark Materials Old Master Photography; William Abranowicz Lifestyle Photography; and All About Olives. “I think because we offer such a special and unique experience, people have the best time,” says Annette. “Since the views and the food are spectacular, our guests enjoy downtime as well as time learning in the studio.”
But other trends that focus on personal development include sober tourism, for those abstaining from alcohol or who are just “sober curious;” eco-travel that creates sustainable experiences as well as methodologies and information to bring eco-consciousness back to everyday life; and “grand” trips that include older relatives as a way to connect back to and learn about family. Companies like Travel Sober and Sober Celebrations remove the booze from the itinerary, while companies like Green Loons organize fun vacations while shining the light on ecotourism. In whatever area you’re looking to evolve this year, there’s likely a travel opportunity that will help you do just that!
As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans …” thus following the 2020 travel trend of genuine cultural immersion. Travelers seeking an authentic experience may be interacting with indigenous people one night and learning about local customs the next.
Naya Traveler is a travel company that aims to create journeys that transcend mass tourism. This curated approach to travel harnesses the transformative power of immersive travel through personalized itineraries that focus on insider knowledge. In fact, the plans are so well-designed around travelers that no two are the same. For example, Naya’s Ethiopia trip offers an immersive look into the culture, history and life of the country, including a shopping trip to the local market with a talented chef followed by a lesson on preparing popular Ethiopian dishes, visiting the tribes of Omo Valley and staying in a high-end tented camp, and experiencing a coffee ceremony in the birthplace of the brewed drink. Localized trips head to destinations rich in experiences like Belize, India, Morocco, even Antarctica.
Another great way to immerse yourself in the local culture is to travel off the beaten path in less touristy areas that celebrate regional traditions. United Kingdom-based On Foot Holidays specializes in self-guided walking tours in quieter, unspoiled parts of Europe. Each imaginative route, accessible for all walking abilities, is designed by a local and features small, family-run accommodations, opportunities to learn about rural Europe and homegrown foods and local wines. On Foot Holiday’s newest routes include “Dordogne,” a picturesque journey through France, and “Basque Pyrenees,” which weaves through the villages of Spain’s Basque Country in the western Pyrenees.
Happy travels, and make sure to tag StyleBlueprint on your adventures!
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