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The 2021 Travel Trends aren't quite what you think

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

A quiet street in Rome and the most perfect little red Fiat ©AlonzoWright

Let's face it, the world has changed. But with the United States and much of Europe slotted to open in July 2021, there's a gleam of hope for travelers who want to feel the wind in their sails again. While it has been hard to speculate the travel trends for 2021, especially since we’ve been through more than a year of lockdowns, let downs and constant despair, telltale patterns have still emerged. And they're centered around human contact and our connection to the planet.

So, what’s on the horizon for post-pandemic travel trends? You might be surprised to hear that many people will still be staying closer to home. With so many waves of resurgences and community healthcare systems still on the verge of collapse, world travel continues to feel a bit like a house of cards. That doesn't mean people won't get up and go, but a two or three-hour flight or car ride is a little bit easier to digest. And that means, we’re about to see spikes in small group travel, glamping, and road trips followed by conservation and sustainable tourism later in the year.

A blue shingled beach house with a warm glow from the windows during sunset. The sun reflected on the bay with a beautiful lush garden.
Heron's Crossing on Whidbey Island is the epitome a relaxing getaway. Photo Courtesy of Heron's Crossing.

Small Group Travel

If we learned one lesson from isolation, it’s that most of us took human contact and connection for granted. The simplicity of a hug or sharing a great meal with friends has never been missed more than it is now. So the first thing you’re going to want to do when you haven’t been able to see your nearest and dearest for more than a year, is to knock out two birds with one stone: get out of your homes and spend some time together.

The rise in small group travel will be a big boost for boutique hotels and vacation rental markets who can accommodate groups of 10 or more. Especially if they’re a little off the beaten path as some people will still be a little unsure about choosing rentals in crowded places. Lake houses or renting a beach house on places like Whidbey Island or Lummi Island off the coast of Washington are going to see huge spikes. Imagine combing the shoreline for shells, paddle boarding and riding bicycles in the lazy afternoon sun with your favorite people. There’s plenty of space to spread out so nobody feels under each other, but plenty of opportunities to spend time laughing and making new memories over a beach bonfire.


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