There’s no way to get around it. Our lives have changed drastically over the past year, and we’ve had to make adjustments to our usual way of doing things. Restrictions and forced closures have led the travel industry to seek out new solutions to meet ever-changing requirements for both pleasure and business travel. But necessity is the mother of invention, as the old saying goes. Exciting and innovative trends have emerged for 2021, opening up new ways to fulfill our sense of wanderlust.
Many countries and airlines require proof that travelers are healthy and virus-free. Fit to travel and fit to fly certificates are quickly becoming the norm within the travel industry. These certificates prove that the traveler is infection-free 72 to 96 hours before their departure. Health centers offer fit to travel certification services, and rapid testing with 15-minute results is becoming more widely available at airports. Home test kits are an up-and-coming trend for 2021. Travelers receive a certificate within 72 hours of their departure if their results show they are negative for illness.
Travel-hungry people are craving the freedom of exploring new surroundings after being cooped up for the last several months. But efforts to plan a getaway that is as safe as it is enjoyable will require some extra attention. Instead of taking short-and-sweet minication, travelers will seek destinations that fulfill entire sections of their bucket lists rather than one or two single locales. In 2021, the travel industry expects to book fewer quick getaways and instead create more extended vacation packages to remote corners of the globe.
Road trips have always been a symbol of freedom, a way to throw caution to the wind and see what happens along the open road. In 2021, the definition of this much-loved type of travel has new parameters but has also created some fresh, intriguing options for self-sufficient travel. Peer-to-peer RV rentals allow you to travel with all the accommodations you need, plus you explore at your own pace. Outfitted with comfy beds, hot showers, and built-in cooking capabilities, these suites-on-wheels let you travel in comfort at prices comparable to hotel rooms.
Sticking close to home may not only be a safer option but also a necessity for many cash-strapped travelers in 2021. Staycations will be a major travel trend this year, but that doesn’t mean you need to restrict your escape to the confines of your backyard. Experts say holistic day trips to places offering a variety of outdoor activities will be popular choices. The key, they say, is to step out of your normal, daily routine. Locales and nature areas with walking, hiking, and biking trails are a great way to de-stress and relax, as are waterfront and beach areas where social distancing protocols are in place.
For those who are accustomed to spending time in exotic and beautiful places, 2020 likely put a crimp in their travel plans. But in 2021, more people will focus on finding luxurious properties to rent for extended stays, often with a group of family or friends. Although some countries have age restrictions on property rentals, there are plenty of unique options to explore. From bamboo tree houses with magnificent views in Indonesia to oceanfront villas in Bermuda, the choices are endless.
If we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that things can change significantly from one day to the next. Traveling has seen its share of setbacks with constantly changing rules and regulations. Leery travelers are hesitant to book hotels or flights due to the uncertainty of what each day will bring. To combat the issue, some hotels and airlines are adding flexibility to travel accommodations through no-fee changes and cancellations.
Not everyone can afford to stop working for a month to go and explore the world. However, in 2020, millions of traditional workers suddenly found themselves becoming remote workers. For those who love to travel, the beauty of working remotely is that you can combine work with pleasure, packing up your office and taking it with you wherever you go. Travel trend experts say the phenomenon opened the doors for a whole new type of travel. From office-swapping to communal work retreats to year-long visas, the travel options for remote workers will continue to expand in 2021.
Few can imagine jumping on a plane and having no destination, those that start and end in the same place. But in 2021, antsy travelers will find an increasing array of flight options solely for sightseeing, relaxing, and watching the clouds pass by. Some airlines have been trying out these “flights to nowhere,” offering tempting amenities such as elegant giveaways and meals prepared by Michelin-star chefs.
Most people agree that 2020 isn’t a year that they’ll remember fondly. Nevertheless, some positives emerged. Human activity stilled, and as a result, there were major dips in the global nitrogen levels, and wildlife freely roamed about their natural habitats. As travel becomes safer, people will once again head out from their homes to explore new destinations. But travel trend analysts say many will opt for conservation-based trips and those that benefit and help sustain the communities they are visiting.
Any traveler who’s visited major attractions has had a firsthand experience with overtourism, a term describing the issue of too many tourists in an area. In 2021, people will instead seek out remote destinations that are less traveled. From relaxing in an alpine-style hotel in Finland to exploring one of New Zealand’s Great Walks through spectacular landscapes, travelers can find just what they need to recover from a tough year.