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6 Travel Trends & Predictions for 2021

2021 is set to be one of the travel industry’s most significant years to date. As COVID-19 has radically changed the way we live and work, travelers are hopeful to experience more of the world soon.

The promise of an effective and widely distributed COVID-19 vaccine will be a key factor in resuming travel worldwide. However, as the world slowly reopens to tourism in 2021, travel is expected to look different than it did pre-pandemic. Travelers seek to prioritize safety while looking for responsible ways to explore destinations. Many hotels, airlines, cruise lines and tour providers offer flexibility with bookings and adhere to high cleanliness standards and safety procedures. 

The 6 Travel Trends and Predictions for 2021 reflect the importance of safety, well-being, family time, flexibility with remote work and a desire to fulfill bucket-list travel.

Remote Locations

When it comes to vacationing, we will continue to see travelers trade big cities for scenic destinations. Sandy beaches, snowy mountains and desert oasis provide a playground of outdoor exploration and socially distanced trips. Destinations such as Sedona, Lake Tahoe, remote Caribbean islands and off-the-beaten-track places with fewer crowds will be attractive for travelers.

Working Getaways

According to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, 42% of the U.S. workforce has shifted to working from home. This change has provided great flexibility for where and how work gets done. As we all seek a change of scenery, we can take advantage of workcation programs offered at resorts and hotels. Travelers can now stay longer, immerse themselves in the local culture, and spend time as a family while enjoying a flexible work and vacation schedule. 

A Focus on Wellness

Maintaining health and well-being has become a top priority in 2020. Stress reduction, mindfulness and R&R are important aspects that travelers are incorporating into trip planning. Wellness and spa resorts will continue to be in demand as spa treatments, yoga, clean eating and outdoor activities help rejuvenate the mind and body. A few top destinations for wellness-focused travel include Costa Rica, Antigua, Bali and Thailand.

Private Experiences

There has been an uptick this year with travelers seeking private villas, lodges and unique accommodations, which is likely to continue into 2021. At hotels and resorts, travelers will appreciate the options for keyless check-in, intimate dining and private excursions. When iconic destinations and landmarks reopen for tourism, we can anticipate smaller crowds and advance reservations for a more controlled environment.

Connecting with Travel Experts

The complications associated with international travel has increased the demand to work with a travel advisor. Receiving timely updates on safety and the state of travel in destinations around the world is more important than ever. Travel will continue to become increasingly complex, and engaging with an expert to manage complicated arrangements will be appealing for travelers.

Fulfilling Bucket List Trips

2020 has reminded us to not take travel for granted and to prioritize vacations and new experiences. Bucket list trips to sought-after destinations such as Hawaii, Italy, Australia and Fiji are incredibly enticing. The destinations that will be popular in 2021 may be determined by how well that country manages this pandemic, and how it provides reassurance and safety for travelers.

These predictions show how the global pandemic will continue to shape the future of travel. One thing is for certain – the anticipation is high to freely explore and travelers will continue to adapt as they see the world.

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