For many people, the first couple of months of a new year are spent fantasising and planning their travel plans and holiday destinations for later in the year. However this year, the continued global uncertainty around travel makes that extremely difficult.
But with cautious optimism, many people are considering how travel will be possible at some point in 2022 and beyond. So here are some of the biggest travel trends 2022 has to offer and hopefully they’ll help you with some travel ideas for 2022 when it is safe to do so.
PLEASE NOTE: This article is not intended to encourage or endorse leisure travel during this time. Please check your government guidance on travel restrictions and requirements before leaving your home.
Travel trends 2022
There’s no doubt about it that 2021 became the year of domestic travel and discovering your own backyard and the chances are that this travel trend isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Even as the world slowly begins to reopen over the coming year, many people are nervous to travel due to the risks and rapidly changing international situation and the fear of getting stuck abroad or falling ill.
Social media has been filled with people discovering their local area and being in awe of beautiful places right on their doorstep. So 2022 travel trends will see people continuing to explore locally, whether in your own town, state or country there are so many possibilities.
The benefit of this travel trend in 2022 is its support for local businesses. Local people have the power to support their own economy on a local and national level by visiting tourism destinations within their own area or country.
So get online, start investigating your own country for 2022 travel ideas, look at national and local tourism board websites and local photographers on Instagram to get inspiration for your next domestic travel trip in 2022.
Check out my article for more tips on planning a trip in your own country.
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The Local Staycation
Who says you can’t have a micro trip in your own town or create a travel experience in your own home?!
With all the uncertainty in the travel industry at the moment, now is the perfect time to treat yourself to a fancy stay at that hotel in town that you always like the look of or perhaps that spa nearby that you’ve always wanted to try out but found excuses not to.
Or maybe leaving the house isn’t an option for you, why not plan a fun treat weekend for yourself, you and your partner or housemates. You can make it travel themed with movies and an international menu. Or simply splurge a bit on food and goodies to make it a special weekend even at home.
Travel will remain uncertain for a while longer and this option is safer and gives you much more control over your interactions with other people.
The Road Trip
If you’re a road trip fan then I think this is your year! Thinking about travel trends 2022, we can expect they’ll favour more isolated methods of transport and what could be safer than travelling in your own car?!
For many people this will mean seeing lots more of your own country. If you’re in America think epic USA road trips, exploring the far-flung corners of the Australian Outback for my Aussie friends, or how about a Scotland road trip for everyone in the UK.
But if you’re in Europe or perhaps have a travel bubble with another country, there are possibilities to enjoy an adventure road trip beyond your own borders.
Road trips are all about enjoying the journey and it’s a great way to see more of the countryside, more remote places and off the beaten path destinations whilst minimising your contact with other people.
Don’t forget, a road trip can be a long trip for a couple of weeks or more, it could be a weekend, or even just a day trip if you’re not able to stay anywhere overnight.
There’s been an increase in people buying self-contained vehicles such as RVs, campervans and converting vans to live in, so if you already own one or are thinking of buying one, now is a great time!
Adventure travel in the Outdoors
As an extension of the road trip trend, trends in 2021 were already seeing a huge increase in people travelling domestically on outdoor orientated trips so it can be expected that this travel trend will continue in 2022.
Whether you’re hiking, camping, skiing, rock climbing or wild swimming, these kinds of activities in the open air, away from crowded towns and cities are seeing a huge increase in popularity already.
And they definitely don’t require you to be a pro-hiker or to love camping. How about looking up short local walks or hikes in your area to get started. Or perhaps you’re new to camping and want to try it in your back garden first before venturing out to the local wilderness.
It’s also a great chance to take up a new hobby. If you’ve always wanted to try stand up paddle boarding or outdoor yoga, now’s the time.
These activities make great day trips and excuses to get outdoors in your local area for a day or afternoon without the commitment of several days away.
If local rules allow you to meet up with friends outdoors then maybe a weekend hike and camping trip where you stay in separate tents is an awesome way to keep safe and have fun.
All-inclusive resort holidays
With the rising costs of testing now associated with holidays and travelling abroad, I think we’ll see an increase in holiday travel packages and all-inclusive packages that include testing requirements.
I also think that all-inclusive resorts have the benefit of being able to offer a controlled environment where everyone is testing and taking precautions, it makes things more predictable and a lot of people will feel safer and more reassured by the all-inclusive vacation environment.
Slow travel and longer, more meaningful international trips
2020 and 2021 have been years of closed borders and restricted travel with these restrictions changing in the blink of an eye and unfortunately, that unpredictability isn’t likely to change quickly. Those countries that are reopening their borders are doing so with very strict travel requirements such as contact forms and testing requirements and it’s likely that will continue for some time.
These requirements will make those short weekend city breaks in Europe or hopping from country to country in Southeast Asia a lot of effort and work if the trip is only short.
Because of this, it’s likely that travel trends in later 2021 and beyond will lean towards longer, more meaningful international trips and slow travel.
This could be a great thing for the future of travel as people become more intentional about how they spend their money and vacation time. Plus less hopping from country to country means a better environmental impact.
Making Future Plans
Of course there is still a huge amount of uncertainty and unknown within the travel sector and for many people, their travel trends in 2021 and early 2022 will consist of making plans for the future.
In a time when more travel is still not recommended or advised, this is the only completely safe option on this list but it can be the most exciting. Have you always dreamed of that one trip to a bucket list destination? Or perhaps a luxury getaway you’ve been putting off for years? Now is the time to get online, on Pinterest or on Instagram and get planning for your dream getaway perhaps for 2022 or beyond!
These travel trends are not intended to encourage travel at the moment but to inspire possibilities in the future and to consider how travel will look different in 2022 and beyond. These 2022 travel trends are ideas to feed the wanderlust and love of travel in us all and also support the local, national and international tourism industry when it is safe for us to do so.
Please travel responsibly.
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Flights: I use Expedia to find great flights and the best deals all over the world, they have regular sales and offers so I always check their website. I also check CheapOair to find cheap deals on round trip flights.
Car Rental: I love the customer service I've always gotten and the variety of options with Rental Cars. But for short notice rentals, I've been using Expedia for the last year, they always seem to have great one-day rates or last-minute rates from the main rental companies.
Accommodation: I prefer the flexibility of booking accommodation with Booking.com so I can cancel or change my reservation without a fee or only pay on arrival for most properties. For longer or more unique stays I prefer AirBnB because you can get the long stay discount, you can also find more unique properties and book experiences with talented locals and businesses. For my budget trips, I always stay in hostels and book through Hostelworld because they have great guarantees if anything does go wrong. If you arrive and your booking is not at the property, they refund the full deposit AND give you $50 extra credit.
Tours and organised trips Although I don’t use tours that often, I do like to book local experiences or day trips once I reach my destination. For that I use GetYourGuide because it has the biggest selection and variety of tour and experience options.
Travel Insurance: For all my longer trips and for the entire year I’ve spent in Australia, my partner and I have always used World Nomads. They cover everything I need and I can buy coverage for a year at a time, they also allow you to purchase cover when you’re already outside your home country. Plus my camera gear and equipment is covered and they also have special cover for when I’m scuba diving too.
My camera gear and equipment: I use a Canon 77D with an 18-135mm lens or a 50mm lens. And a DJI Mavic Mini Drone. For all my gear including laptops, tripods and more camera accessories read my travel photography gear guide.