Hottest new travel trends and destinations for the year ahead
Some exciting new travel trends are predicted for 2020. Eco-tourism is at the heart of next year’s getaways, and sustainable climate-neutral trips are firmly on the map. Here are some of the mainstream, and some of the more unusual travel experiences for both the intrepid and luxury traveler next year…
Micro-Hotels and Spartan Holidays
To counteract digital malaise, 2020 will see a rise in ‘Micro-Hotels‘ and ‘Spartan Holidays‘ say Conde Nast Traveller International. Go off grid with just the bare minimum, with the aim of freeing yourself up both mentally and physically and reconnecting with what is around you. Slomo will be the new Fomo. Get back to nature and book a stay in a tiny hideout removed from the modern world with Fuselage, Unyoked and Vipp Shelter. Perfect for solo travel.
Nomadic Hotel Experiences
If you want to expect the unexpected, the new ‘Nomadic Hotel‘ trend will appeal to global travellers. The travel company 700,000 Heures (owned by French hotelier Thierry Teyssier) is setting a trend for nomadic hotels that move location every six months. They temporarily transform extravagant private homes, transferring staff and a collection of more than 100 handmade steamer trunks, that open out into daybeds, cocktail bars and showers and so guests can eat sleep and be pampered under the stars. Already Nomadic Hotels have appeared in Italy and Cambodia, and from April-November 2020 they will take over two sites in Japan including a temple, and a traditional house in a fishing village.
The favorite trend for next year – Luxury travel in 2020 is going to be about ‘Luxpeditions’. Book a five night charter yacht trip island hopping around the exquisite archipelago of Raja Ampat off Western Papua, offered by the new Phinisi super-yacht ‘Prana By Atzaro’. As part of this you can enjoy hidden gems such as snorkelling and diving among famous reefs such as Melissa’s Garden, and explore tiny uninhabited limestone islands populated by beautiful Birds of Paradise. As far as trends around luxury travel are concerned, Mandy Saven, Head of Food, Beverage and Hospitality at travel industry futurism consultancy Stylus, says ‘travel brands must offer even more “rarified” experiences in response to luxury travel becoming ever more mainstream’. Positive luxury is a thing.
Wellness is of course back by popular demand for 2020 with a raft of experiential holidays, bootcamps and escapes to choose from. ‘Nakation‘ anyone? Prepare to get your kit off because naked retreats and holidays are on the rise – London’s first naked restaurant Bunyadi is hoping to reopen soon and wild swimming and naked yoga retreats are on the hotlist next year. And, if you are on a strictly plant-based travel plan we’ve heard on the grapevine that ‘Vegan hotels‘ are also on the up. Saorsa 1875 opened in June as the first pure vegan hotel in Perthshire in the UK.
Conde Nast Traveller International reported recently, ‘As the reality of a climate crisis looms, travellers in 2020 and beyond will need to do everything they can to balance the negative impact of their trips with positives. At the very least, this means donating money to renewable energy projects, using new ethical search engine Ecosia Travel to book hotels (it uses profits to plant trees) and choosing Positive Luxury-approved brands (look for the Butterfly Mark, which indicates a commitment to sustainability) such as The Evolved Traveler and Balance Holidays.’
We are already becoming more mindful about how we travel. Over the next decade travellers agree that trains will be used increasingly (TGV Lyria trains who run trips from Paris to Switzerland reported a 30% rise in bookings recently). Electric planes will also soon revolutionise air travel – by 2030 Easyjet who have partnered with Wright Electric say they will have a fleet of electric planes so we should all be emission-free flying within the next decade.
Also on the horizon for next year, is a radical new sea-change in the cruising world. ‘Hipster Cruises‘ are soon to float into the glossy travel pages. Branson’s new Virgin Voyages (the Rock Star Suite pictured above) will take to the seas in 2020. Its maiden vessel, the ‘Scarlet Lady’, has been designed to appeal to Generation Y and Z in a way that no other cruise liner has yet managed to do. There will be Tom Dixon-designed interiors, a tattoo parlour, karaoke studios, an open-air gym, a vinyl record shop curated by Mark Ronson, bars serving craft beer, and all-inclusive restaurants serving vegan Impossible Burgers and CBD cocktails.
No longer is it enough just to be a hotel – next year it’s all about experiential stays. In London, boutique hotel The Mandrake have a regular ‘Artist in Residence’ programme and in Ibiza, the legendary rock ’n’ roll hotel Pikes have embraced their status as a true cultural hub. They hold a literary festival every year hosted by Irvine Welsh, host art and photographic exhibitions (as well as some amazing parties) and even have their own Pikes Podcast series of interviews available to download on Apple or Spotify.
The Newt in Somerset launched this year surrounded by landscaped gardens, woodland and a cyder press. It’s South African sister Babylonstoren in Cape Town (a Cape Dutch Farmstead) is already a firm favourite for those in the know. Next year horticultural lovers will be heading to Ibiza. The luxury five star spa hotel Atzaro in Ibiza has launched a magnificent seven acre organic vegetable, herb and fruit garden. A gorgeous vast garden space (situated next to an outside spa), where you can relax, read, take a class, or enjoy an alfresco banquet dining experience under the stars. Everything grown is served at the table according to season, and you can learn about the permaculture and the botanicals grown for the in-house spa products during educational garden workshops.
And finally… Destination trend-watch for 2020
Check out the surf-paradise Siargao in the Philippines or visit the coffee farms and cloud forests in Panama. Other hotly-tipped places for travel 2020 across the globe are the Frisian islands of Denmark, Dakar in Senegal, Salvador in Brazil, Egadi islands in Sicily, Quingdao in China, Galway in Ireland, Kyoto in Japan and the Lebanon. The rise of ‘second-city’ travel’ will also emerge – exploration of lesser known places in order to reduce over-tourism.
With Greta Thunburg flying the flag for Generation Z, luxury travel brands should also prepare for their clients’ children to put increasing pressure on their parents to travel responsibly. You heard it here first!