Many travellers and travel industry professionals are looking forward to brighter days in 2022. Here’s a glance at some of the travel trends to expect this year to help you plan accordingly.
Back to nature, again
Being outdoors was all the rage (and the only option) in the pre-vaccinated days of the pandemic in 2020. Travellers began to make their way back to urban centres—craving more socialisation, nightlife. The interest in the great outdoors hasn’t died out just yet—and it might be getting bigger than ever. Younger travellers are especially interested in beach vacations in 2022.
With a growing demand for blending the flexibility of remote work with leisure travel, more than 40% of Gen Z employees plan to take a “workcation” (essentially, working while travelling—but not travelling for work) in 2022, according to data provided by Kayak. “Younger generations like Gen Z likely live a more flexible lifestyle (i.e., no kids, pets, etc. just yet) that makes it easier to travel (and work) for weeks at a time from different locations, [which] gets more complicated when you have to move the whole family,” Kayak’s Hafner says. “Once people can really start traveling more freely again, we’ll start to see people squeeze in extra trips that double as work. Companies that support blending business with leisure travel will have a competitive advantage with talent. Many people want a change of scenery right now.”
The hashtag “#houseswap” has generated approximately 10 million views and viral videos of users swapping houses on the social app. And global home-swapping platform Love Home Swap, which has homes in more than 110 countries, saw a nearly 300% increase in member sign-ups last year, compared to 2019, and new sign-ups are currently surpassing pre-COVID levels this year. The company says these staycation arrangements help offset the increased costs of travelling.
The thought of booking a last-minute trip abroad terrified many travellers last year, for fear of the pendulum-like swinging travel restrictions in countries across the world. But it appears that spontaneous travel might make a comeback in 2022.
It’s safe to say the pandemic took a really big hit on dating lives, with Tinder dates involving awkward Victorian-Esque walks in the park, instead of shots of tequila in a bustling bar. So it makes sense that 60 per cent of travellers are looking forward to meeting new people on their next trip, and an unsurprising 50 per cent are on the lookout for romance, according to Booking.com. Before you travel, check out a list of the best dating apps for 2022 to make sure you don’t miss a match abroad.
Technology was a key element in the travel industry last year, with many people believing that it was crucial in helping them learn about health risks while on the move and reassuring them that jet setting was safe. Booking.com found that more than half (53 per cent) of travellers wanted tech options to make last-minute restaurant reservations and a fifth (21 per cent) hoped to use self-service machines instead of having face-to-face interactions with those working in the travel sector.
Care for the Community
Community became a big talking point during the pandemic. It wasn’t that long ago we’d take to our windows and balconies and clap for carers, or check in on our neighbours to make sure they had enough food for the week if they were isolating. We don’t want that care and compassion to go anywhere this year, and it seems neither do travellers.
Self-care is an important part of taking care of your body and mind. And in 2022, travel will be a hugely popular form of self-care, with 79 per cent of travellers believing that it helps their mental and emotional wellbeing more than other forms of self-care.