As we’ve seen in recent months, millions of people have been inspired by Greta Thunberg to start taking action on climate change.
The environment (and protecting it!) has moved from a fringe issue for many to become one of the most important factors in planning a trip. Although we are only at the very start of this shift, it is being led by a younger generation who will shape travel in the future.
Travel (planes, trains and automobiles etc) makes a huge part of global CO2 emissions so expect future generations to stay closer to home and demand more eco-friendly options from their vacation providers.
Cash Free Travel
It wasn’t that long ago that we travelled with wads of cash, travellers cheques or exchanged cash at crazy rates. While that is still the case in some countries, the landscape is changing rapidly.
Gone are the days when taxi drivers can rip you off with the wrong change, as in comes a whole new range of cashless solutions. We are starting to reach the stage where you might not even have to have any local currency whatsoever on a trip abroad.
Certain apps now allow you to change currencies within the app and use virtual cards to book services. Many hotels, restaurants and services can be used cash free by simply tapping your card – or phone. A move away from cash can only be a good thing for travelling and security.
Not so much of a trend for the one-off vacation, although you will still find people checking their emails on the beach. This is more of a lifestyle change where the introduction of new technology like 5g, video conferencing, etc allows a new workforce to work wherever they want in the world.
Far more important than any technology, is the fact that companies and bosses are now open to the idea in terms of attracting and retaining talent.
Travel That is Transformative
With the world in a state of political turmoil, many people want to feel as if they are making a difference even when they vacation. It feels good to help other people and that is a 2020 travel trend that is going to take off in a big way.
The transformative element might not just be about helping others, but also helping oneself. This could be by taking a small career break or by choosing destinations that are away from the touristy norm. We see this in community work trips and yoga retreats.
Personalisation Through Data
Everybody – from hotels, airlines and ride sharing companies to Google – knows more about you than ever before. To many this is a creepy invasion of privacy, but the net effect means a much more fluid and enjoyable travel experience.
Arriving in new places used to mean reading guide books, asking friends and taking a lot of chances. Because of data and the advances in AI, our travel experiences will become much more personalised in 2020.
This also ties in with ecotourism which is No. 1 on the list. Every city in the world is starting to explode with vegan options on menus as well as vegan chains and cafes popping up all over the place. Vegan-only trips, retreats and cooking classes will come to the fore even more over the coming years, as the world changes its eating habits.
The Gig Economy
From the moment you step into your UBER or Lyft at the airport you are entering the world of the gig economy. This is the world where individuals are using technology to connect with people traveling and offering a service for a cheaper fee.
This can be seen in services like Airbnb Experiences which gives locals the chance to offer unique tours for a fee. This continues cutting out of the middle man will be a key trend.