Traveling abroad could continue to present challenges for unvaccinated people. However, fully vaccinated travelers will find many countries far more accessible in the months ahead. The stop-start nature of international travel still presents potential difficulties, emphasizing the necessity to plan for multiple eventualities and purchase comprehensive travel insurance.
That said, there is cause for cautious optimism among travelers today. With many operators providing fully refundable bookings and free date changes, consumer confidence is rapidly returning. Against that backdrop, from milestone travel to ecotourism, we look at eight popular travel trends emerging in 2022.
1. Long-Haul Vacations
General consensus among travel experts is that it will take at least another year or two for global aviation to return to pre-COVID levels. Despite this, long-haul flights are seeing something of a revival.
With tourism restarting for fully vaccinated visitors to the United States, several airlines have launched new routes to US cities. Examples include Finnair’s flights from Helsinki to Seattle; Lufthansa’s fares from Munich to San Diego, and British Airways’ new routes to Portland, Oregon.
2. Milestone Travel
As we navigate the post-pandemic world, experts are noticing distinct changes in the way people vacation these days. Consumers are generally taking fewer, but longer breaks. While short-haul and domestic flights remain an important way of checking in on family or enjoying a minibreak in a new city, travelers are increasingly seeking out travel experiences that have real meaning, fulfilling lifelong dreams, or marking personal milestones.
3. Responsible Travel
With a third of global consumers prioritizing responsible travel in 2022, vacationers are seeking innovative new ways of offsetting their carbon footprint. They are also interested in supporting businesses and communities in the countries they visit. A strong trend has emerged for more intimate, immersive adventures. Vacationers now have a prime opportunity to drive positive change in the regions they visit.
Walking treks and similar experiences are proving popular in 2022, providing vacationers with authentic, up-close experiences as they move from place to place. Meanwhile, sustainable tourism hubs like Costa Rica, Hawaii, and Belize all remain popular choices, while eco-activities like glamping and stargazing are becoming more popular with vacationers.
4. Family First
After years of missed birthdays, holidays, weddings, and other important family occasions, consumers are anxious not to miss a moment with their loved ones. 2022 has seen a substantial increase in multi-generational family trips, with searches for accommodation with cribs rising by 65 percent this year according to Hotels.com.
Parents are also seeking out resorts that offer childcare options, as well as connecting rooms. All-inclusive properties with excellent kids’ clubs and educational programs for children are currently experiencing intense demand.
5. Personal Development
With social isolation triggering introspection for many people throughout the pandemic, self-improvement remains a strong theme in 2022. This is characterized by the Great Resignation, with millions of people worldwide quitting their jobs and carving out new, more fulfilling career paths, leading many down the route of entrepreneurship.
In response, a wide variety of personal development retreats are now available around the world. Examples include Heartbreak Hotel in Norfolk, England, which helps women heal following a relationship breakdown as well as Aerial BVI in the British Virgin Islands, touted as an “incubator for positive transformation.”
6. Wildlife Tourism
With increased respect for the fragile interdependence between humankind and nature, greater scrutiny is being applied to wildlife tourism. Travelers are increasingly turning their backs on exploitative animal experiences. Instead, they are favoring adventures that enable them to observe nature in its correct habitat, at a deferential distance, learning more about species and habitats from experienced, eco-conscious guides.
With many people still working remotely for at least some of the working week, “workations” have become increasingly popular. One recent survey revealed that 24 percent of respondents could work from anywhere. That percentage rises to a staggering 46 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds. With increasing numbers of people set to combine work and travel in the year ahead, the world is their oyster.
8. Wellness Retreats
Evidenced by Google search results, selfcare has become increasingly important to vacationers. How wellness is incorporated into a vacation depends to a great extent on personal taste. Some people prefer checking into high-end resorts and spas, and others favor a no-frills experience at an authentic Himalayan yoga ashram.
Health and wellness resorts are the perfect antidote to a 24/7, always-on lifestyle. They offer the perfect opportunity to pause and reflect, and to relax both the body and the mind. From taking charge of wellness goals to improving fitness, trying out holistic therapies, or even beating insomnia, there are wellness retreats available for every need, budget, and interest.