There is something romantic about the idea to travel the world. It probably comes from the time when the explorers roaming the land, filling in the white spots on the maps, were seen as celebrities – after all, they bravely went where nobody else has before them, facing unknown dangers in the name of knowledge, adventure, and the betterment of the human race. While today there are no more white spots on the map (except for the poles, of course), travelling is still romantic and fun, a great pastime, and a wonderful way to get to know the world. But few people today travel for travel’s sake as they did in the romantic time of the great explorers – today’s travels have a purpose, no matter if it’s a cause or simply a means of escaping the daily routine for a few weeks a year.
Where do we go, and why do we go there? And what do we do once we’re there? The answers to these questions are constantly changing. Here’s what they will be in 2020.
Off the beaten path
Each country has its “must-see” places and landmarks – over the years, these have become so famous that, in many cases, they are overrun by tourists during the season. These places have become so overcrowded and overpriced over the years that some travellers are avoiding them on purpose, choosing to follow the many budget-friendly travel tips instead to places that are off the beaten path.
The last few years have seen a number of “alternatives” gain a lot of attention not only from the specialty press but from the travellers themselves as well. And even more of them will choose these in 2020.
Back on the ground
What’s the easiest way to visit a far-away place? Fly there, you might say. Yes, you are right – but flying is also the most harmful for the environment, something Greta Thunberg has made clear for the entire world last year. There’s no way to tell if her passionate speeches or the very tangible effects of climate change are to blame but the fact remains: the number of travellers taking a plane domestically has decreased slightly in Europe.
The interest in more “traditional” forms of transportation, like boating or taking a train, will rise in 2020, partly due to nostalgia, and partly due to climate concerns.
Finally, there is one trend that has started growing in the last few years and will probably be big in 2020: planet-friendliness. Aside from the amenities, another major factor that will influence the travellers’ choices for lodging will be their “eco-friendliness”. A survey conducted by Booking.com last year has shown that almost three quarters of the respondents intend to choose a planet-friendly option this year, growing from just 62% in 2016.