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2021 Travel Trends: What Travelers Need to Know For the New Year

By Janeen Christoff for Travel Pulse | Dec 31 2020

Will We Be Able to Travel?

As vaccinations continue to role out, 2021 is beginning on a note of hopefulness.

Americans, weary of staying home, are looking forward to the spring and summer months when many believe travelers will be able to begin taking vacations again.

While the year will likely not be on par with pre-Covid travel, as we start to slow the spread of the coronavirus, traveling will be safer and easier to undertake. How will Americans likely return to travel? Look for these trends to dominate the industry in 2021.

Younger Generations Will Lead the Way

A number of surveys have found the pent-up demand to travel is real and that younger generations are ready to go now. In 2021, as vaccinations are received and more destinations open up, expect demand to come first from Gen-Z and Millennial travelers.

Travel Advisors Will Be a Must

With so many restrictions and such varied reopenings around the country and the world, including new and changing requirements such as Covid-19 testing, travel advisors have never been more needed. Travelers will need help navigating the new normal in order for their trips to be a success.

Family Gatherings

After missing holidays with loved ones, reconnecting with family is going to be more important than ever in 2021.

Research from Destination Analysts found that more than 31 percent of travelers are looking to take family vacations once it is safe to travel again.

Travel to the Olympic Games

Japan will be a top destination for travelers when the world begins to reopen as the country is set to host the 2020 Olympic Games in the summer. Japan was already a top destination for travelers before the pandemic, and it will likely see a surge as Olympians head to the country this summer.

Disney World Will Be a Top Choice

With family travel topping the list of trends, it follows that one of the country’s most popular theme parks will be a hub. Disney World has been open since the summer. It is considered relatively safe to visit and easy to reach by either car or quick, direct flights, making it easy to see how it will be a top pick.

Dream Trips Are on the List

Pent-up demand is going to lead a lot of people to jump on the chance to travel again once they feel it is safe to do so and they are not going to be holding back on the types of trips they are going to take. Having realized that access to travel can not be taking for granted, many will book their dream trips as soon as possible.

Beach Vacations

Because it is an easy way to maintain social distance, traveling to beach destinations will continue to be popular in the coming year. Mexico and the Caribbean are proving to be popular for American travelers as are domestic destinations such as California and Florida.

Road Trips

As Covid-19 disrupted the everyday lives of nearly every American, many turned to road trips as an easy, safe escape.

As 2021 approaches and vaccines roll out, the trend will likely continue at least in the first part of the year as travelers continue to feel safer driving to vacation destinations versus other modes of travel.

RV Vacations

The RV rental market boomed during the pandemic, proving to be one of the most popular and safest ways to take a vacation in 2020. That trend is likely to continue, according to RV rental marketplace RVshare research.

The company found that 73 percent of millennial respondents indicated they are likely to rent an RV next year, followed by Generation X at 59 percent and Baby Boomers at 47 percent. “The global travel industry has been hit hard by this pandemic, but the demand for domestic travel options remains strong, and interest in RV travel has never been greater,” RVshare CEO Jon Gray said.

Wellness Vacations

Many Americans have turned to unhealthy vices to survive the pandemic. The sales of alcohol have skyrocketed, and it seems like, from social media posts, just about everyone in the country tried their hand at baking. As the pandemic comes into the rearview mirror, many people will be shifting their focus onto a renewed sense of health and wellness, seeking out destinations that promise to relax and revitalize the body and the soul.

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