Travel has the power to change things. It can change the way you see the world, the way you interact with others, the way you handle stress. The list goes on and on. Travel is always evolving too. As travel trends come and go, the ways in which travel can change you are evolving just as much.
Here’s what the travel trends of 2019 taught me over the last 12 months.
1. Sometimes Slower Is Better
Slow travel is becoming more and more of a travel trend. That was certainly the case in 2019. Those working in the travel industry often have a tendency to pack itineraries as full as possible with experiences, meetings, things to do and things to see.
However, learning from this trend can be beneficial for both travel pros and everyone else who hops on a plane in the next year. Slow travel can really be better for all of us. It allows us to relax, recharge and connect with our travel experiences on a deeper, more meaningful level.
2. There’s Value In Domestic Destinations
Whenever extensive travelers talk about their journeys, you’ll notice one thing in common — they all are trying to outdo one another by talking about the most remote or exotic or lavish destination they’ve visited. Oftentimes these destinations are overseas. But what about the wonders that are right here within our own boundaries?
Domestic travel has just as much value as international travel. From the hidden cultural gems that dot the United States, to the sweeping natural vistas of our gorgeous national parks, much can be found in our own backyard.
3. Responsibility Is Key To Having A Good Time
Sustainable travel is nothing new, but now it’s easier than ever to see why responsible travel is key to having a good time. As more evidence shows how our travel impacts the planet, it becomes crucial that we look at every last detail of our experience — from the travel providers we use to the toiletries in our hotel room — and determine if we’re making the right choices.
Responsible choices make the experience better for everyone.
4. You Don’t Have To Visit Those Bucket List Destinations
Overtourism is a big deal and it’s significantly damaging some of the most amazing destinations in the world. Many people think they HAVE to visit bucket list destinations like Venice or Barcelona or even Mount Everest in order to be a well-traveled individual. However, that’s not the case at all.
You can actually have a better time if you leave those so-called “bucket list” destinations behind and search out smaller, less crowded destinations that offer similar experiences. After all, Venice is far from the only European city with canals.
5. Sometimes Less is More
As work demands increase, bleisure travel becomes more popular. Travel budgets and the ability to take time off may be shrinking for many people around the world. Bite-sized trips are becoming the norm, rather than long, extended vacays that stretch out 10, 14 or even 30 days.
And that’s okay. Sometimes all you need is a few days to explore a new locale to get your travel fix.
6. Destinations Are Always Changing
The “it” destination might fall to the wayside. The destination to visit in 2019 won’t be the destination to visit in 2020 and beyond. A destination that was considered extremely dangerous 10 years ago likely isn’t the same now.
If you plan on visiting a destination in the near future (as in, the next few months), do your research now and leave your preconceived assumptions at the door. Destinations are always changing, just like travel trends.
7. Travel Is Travel, No Matter Who You Are
Travel is travel. Most people around the world enjoy it, and many people around the world have been in your shoes, trying to navigate a foreign country where you might not know the language or the customs. They’re eager to help you (and if not, eager, at least happy).
They want you to have a good time in their destination, so long as you treat it respectfully. Don’t worry about asking for help, don’t worry about sounding silly and don’t worry about accidentally pronouncing a place name incorrectly. If you get to know the locals, they’ll help you get by just fine.
8. We All Need To Be A Little Understanding
Along those same lines, we could all stand to be a little more understanding when we travel. Whether we’re dealing with the crying baby two rows up in the airplane, or we’re standing in line at a major tourist attraction, getting impatient, we’re all participating in the human experience together.
We likely want the same thing — an enjoyable, enriching travel experience. A little kindness, understanding and humanity can go a long way in making sure we all get it.