Travel Trends in the New Future of Travel!
I’ve been taking a look at new emerging travel news updates for Summer 2021 and beyond and tentatively asking the question: what will be the travel trends of the future and after the pandemic?
There is talk of a ‘New Normal’ for travel in the ‘New Future’ but what will it look like?
Here in the UK, right now it’s mid-summer. It’s what would normally be considered the holiday high season when millions of Brits – in pre-covid times – would be flying off on holiday to places all over the world or hopping across the Channel into Europe for a well-earned break and some summer sunshine.
Only, it’s summer 2021, and there are many uncertainties about travel right now and lots of controversy and confusion over the UK government’s travel traffic light system and the placing of countries on a green, amber, or red list.
Those who work in aviation and the tourism and hospitality industry are understandably feeling economically frustrated by the second summer of travel disruption and travel bans and the uncertainty of not knowing just how long it will be before people are not only able to travel again – but willing – to travel again.
To address the issues of passenger safety in the wake of what can only be called – in my opinion – a tremendously effective vaccine programme here in the UK, there are calls from those in the travel industry for the introduction of vaccine passports and for air travel corridors and travel bubbles, to try and kick start travel again to salvage the industry and the high season.
Travel agents, especially the smaller private travel agents, are struggling – many to survive – and are calling for additional support from Government and for travel corridors to be opened up sooner rather than later.
People have been cooped up in their homes for so long now that they are understandably desperate for a holiday, for a break, or – in the case of my son and his new wife who’ve against all odds managed to have a small romantic wedding in Scotland within hours of the second lockdown – are looking to take their honeymoon, at last.
Millions have actioned refunds or have travel vouchers to spend for travel that has over the past two summers been rearranged and changed and postponed many many times over.
Quite rightly, we might be wondering if trying to get away overseas this year is the safest thing to do?
With much of the world still battling the virus, many are saying that any travel this summer is just too soon, and perhaps we should be looking to travel in 2022 instead?
But travel isn’t just about taking holidays, is it?
According to The Economist, in a normal year of travel, before covid, only 55% of us travelled abroad for a holiday and 11% of people travelled for business. And the rest of travel was made up of those of us visiting family or travelling for medical treatment or going on a pilgrimage – for example 2 million Muslims travel to Mecca each year.
For me and the Backpacking Husband travel became a lifestyle when 7 years ago we sold our home and our cars and all our possessions in order to travel full time and long term.
“We long to travel again and I strongly believe, now more than ever, that those of us with wanderlust in our souls will still want to escape what we might now consider to be a captive lifestyle in favour of expanding our horizons when, of course, it’s again safe to do so.”The Backpacking Housewife
Travel Trends for 2021
In the short term at least – information from all the surveys currently being done by the travel industry indicate that most people – that’s 70% according to travel agents – now plan to stay in their home country during the summer of 2021.
Good Housekeeping magazine calls it exploring ‘the wonders on our doorstep.’
And to many taking ‘staycations’ this year, it is less likely to mean taking city breaks and the risk of mingling with crowds, but camping and glamping and renting cottages or self-catering multi-generational family-sized rental accommodations instead, either on the coast or in the countryside. Families want to spend quality time together after being apart for so long.
Road trips are also trending with people wanting to get away into the wide-open spaces with caravans or other recreational vehicles. It’s being reported by travel media agents Tripsmiths (via an article in Good Housekeeping magazine) that nearly half of bookings this year are for UK breaks with The Scottish Highlands proving especially popular this year.
You can read all my tips, planning, and destination posts about Scotland HERE
It’s being reported by travel agents half of bookings for UK breaks are in Scotland…
So, with tourism re-opening in Scotland and Scotland proving so popular a destination, Zero Waste Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government, are launching a campaign called Scotland Is Stunning – Let’s Keep it That Way to raise awareness of the harm done to the environment by littering.
The campaign, in which popular Scottish comedian Janey Godley lends her voice to radio and online adverts, reminds people out enjoying Scotland’s natural beauty and wildlife to bin their litter or to take it home with them.
Scotland Is Stunning on Travel With the Backpacking Housewife Podcast
And I’ll be talking more about all that Scotland has to offer the visitor and discussing the Scotland is Stunning campaign and how we in Scotland – either as a local or a tourist – can be part of that initiative on a podcast with Claire from Zero Waste Scotland as my guest. So please do look out for that interview on Travel With The Backpacking Housewife Podcast.
Travel Trends: Looking forward to 2022
What will travel in the new future look like?
Well, in my research, I have come across many new in-depth studies and surveys and voices of opinion from those in the travel industry. And, I have to tell you that although you might have to look closely to find the silver lining right now, there really is a new and growing feeling of optimism for travel in the new future.
It seems we are all heeding the lessons learned from the travel ban…
We have all found a new appreciation for the freedom associated with travel and the responsibility of it on us as individuals, as families, and as groups.
On Euronews.com I read: “The pandemic has taught us a vital lesson. That travel is a privilege and not a right.”
And The Economist is saying that “Today’s travel industry may have taken a battering but the new one that emerges could be better than ever.”
Rather a bold claim on the face of things! But this opinion is backed up by those who are telling us that greenhouse gas emissions from commercial aircraft and carbon emissions have plunged in 2020 and 2021 and so has brought new focus on the debate about how we can maintain a reduction in these gases going forward with newer greener fuels and much more efficient aircraft.
We’ve heard how destinations previously blighted by over tourism have been given the break they desperately needed to regenerate and repair and reverse the damage that had been done.
And all of this has brought about a new wave of ‘Mindful Travel’
So called because it’s a shift in mindset. It’s new way for us to travel in the future!
Travelling mindfully is perhaps about travelling long-haul but with a willingness to travel much more slowly and for longer periods of time. Having a green conscience. Looking at taking alternative methods of transport instead of flights where possible and finding ways to do some carbon offsetting when it’s not – like contributing a portion of your travel budget to a scheme planting trees.
Families are considering ‘ed-ventures’ for their children. Combining education with a holiday. It encompasses workcations – combining work and travel and technology – allowing for the opportunity for remote digital nomadic ways of working.
Mindful travel is about being discerning about your destination and your method of transportation…
It’s also about travelling sustainably. Having awareness and consideration for the environment and culture and the people in the place you are visiting and wanting to make a positive and responsible contribution to alleviate any poverty you might see or to help repair local ecosystems.
Part of this is the new Mindful Trend also incorporates Wellness Travel
The pandemic has caused us to be more aware of our emotional wellbeing and our mental health and travel trends are reflecting our need for open spaces and to connect with nature in the fresh air with hiking, wilderness tourism, wellness retreats, yoga and spa retreats. Even ‘Celestial Escapes’ that combine a sense of space with the opportunity for stargazing or watching the northern lights. ABTA reports a 28% shift in people that would normally choose to go to a beach destination choosing lakes and mountains and countryside instead.
Another travel trend emerging is for Bucket List Travel
Some are calling this Revenge Travel. A global survey by AMEX has shown that 60% of people asked – feel that after being stuck indoors for so long under lockdowns, they have missed out on travel opportunities and will want to catch up in future by travelling more and taking more time off in order to travel – taking their dream trips – but only when the pandemic is over.
I feel sure that this way of thinking is being led by those of us in our midlife and beyond – the empty-nesters – the retirees – who feel the sands of time running out and so we feel that we want to travel again before something else – like old age or health issues – gets in the way of us celebrating our big milestones and ticking off our bucket lists and achieving our personal travel goals.
And what about the struggling Travel Agents whom we sincerely hope will somehow survive the pandemic?
Well, ABTA is saying in their recent survey in Travel Weekly that they expect package holidays booked through travel agents to recover much quicker than flight only independent bookings. This is because people will want that extra security and flexibility and peace of mind that booking with a travel agent gives them.
ABTA’s research also shows that these reassurances afforded by a package holiday are becoming increasingly important to customers, with almost a quarter saying they booked for the financial protection, up from 19%, and almost one in five saying they wanted to be looked after in case something goes wrong.
How do you feel about travel right now or in the future?
Are you taking a staycation this year?
Are you eager to return to familiar destinations for future travel?
Or are you looking to complete a bucket list and take once in a lifetime trips?
Will you book with a travel agent or arrange your travel independently?
Do please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!
You can email me through my Contact Me Page here on my website or get in touch through my social media channels. I’m on Facebook as The Backpacking Housewife and I’m on Instagram as Janice Horton Writer and if you are on Twitter please do Tweet to tell me about your travel plans @JaniceHorton in our New Future and in what is set to become a new and golden age of travel!