No-gloom, top travel trends for 2021 predicted by Globetrender

The world is changing on a daily basis and the travel industry is suffering enormously – the World Travel & Tourism Council fears that 174 million jobs in the sector could be lost by the end of 2020. It’s important to be optimistic, though, and to focus on the opportunities and innovation springing up. Be spontaneous, not to be too fearful unless you have a good reason to be, and to make the most of remote working.




A wholesale shift to remote working means that from now on, many of us will be always OOO (out of office). Outside of lockdown, this opens up all sorts of possibilities for remote working, something digital nomads have been advocating for years. In 2021, we will see a rise in people swapping home offices for ocean offices (in the case of the upmarket Vakkaru Maldives, for example, which recently launched a long-stay Work Well package for remote working). At the lower end of the scale, more communal co-working retreats from the likes of Ethos Remote HabitatRemote Year and Roam will bring laptop-centric professionals together for productivity bootcamps in exotic locations such as Tulum in Mexico. For those looking for a more dramatic lifestyle shift, countries such as MauritiusBermuda and Barbados are offering year-long digital nomad visas.





Not everyone approved of Kim Kardashian having her 40th birthday party at The Brando private island resort in French Polynesia but plenty of people who can afford it will want to do the same (albeit more discreetly, perhaps) – especially while Covid remains a threat when mixing with strangers. It’s easy to book your own tropical bubble in places such as the Maldives and the Seychelles, where resort enclaves await surrounded by nothing but the sea. Florida Keys is also stepping up.





According to peer-to-peer RV rental company RVshare, there has been a 166 per-cent year-on-year increase in bookings between September and November 2020. Why is this? With travel restrictions forcing people to take domestic holidays, travelling by road (rather than rail or air) is the obvious choice in the viral age, as being in your own vehicle provides the most security. Plus it gives a wonderful sense of freedom after a prolonged period of being at home. Being able to cook, sleep and shower in your own mobile home is the ultimate in self-sufficiency, and there are some seriously pimped-out vehicles coming on to the market for those who can afford them.



FLIGHT to nowhere


For aerophiles, simply being on a plane, relaxing with a G&T while contemplating the clouds, is something to miss during the pandemic. However, some airlines are realizing that instead of leaving their aircraft on the ground (at the peak of lockdown, 16,000 planes were sitting unused on the Tarmac), they can operate ‘flights to nowhere’.


The trend for ‘pleasure flights’ started in the Asia-Pacific region in the summer, where carriers such as Qantas, ANA and EVA Air began welcoming passengers aboard sightseeing flights. EVA Air flew a Hello Kitty-themed flight from Taipei with food crafted by three-Michelin-star chef Motokazu Nakamura, while Australia’s Qantas invited passengers on a seven-hour journey from Sydney that encompassed low-level fly-bys of the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and Byron Bay. In years to come, airships offering scenic aerial cruises will be offered by companies such as Flying Whales and Hybrid Air Vehicles.





Just like the Blitz parties that took place during World War II, travelers of tomorrow will be seeking to escape the worries and stresses of the pandemic by booking hedonistic hideaways with friends and family. Although Airbnb has banned people under the age of 25 from renting entire homes for parties in the UKFrance and Spain, this won’t stop millennials and boomers scouring the listings for plush country piles and spacious seaside cottages.





With rules and regulations for travel forever changing, the only way to provide wannabe jet setters with the confidence to book is by giving them the flexibility to change their hotel or flight booking at no extra cost. Before the pandemic, you would have had to buy a fully flexible airfare to have the ability to change your dates, which would have been far more expensive than a standard ticket.


Now, for example, airlines such as United, American Airlines and Delta have scrapped change fees for domestic flights – in United’s case, permanently. Hotel groups are taking a similar approach to woo guests – in the case of Four Seasons, full changes or cancellations are permitted at no charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival.





As we saw over the summer in Europe, air corridors that rely on low infection rates for entry into countries don’t work. Holidaymakers book and then discover they have to quarantine on arrival or on their return, in many cases meaning they have to rush home or cancel their getaway altogether. Chaos. The solution will be pre-departure PCR Covid-19 testing for all passengers, and possibly testing on arrival as well for added thoroughness.


Early innovators include Rocco Forte Hotels in Italy, which have been couriering guests ‘Fit to Travel’ home test kits in partnership with Blue Horizon. Airlines and airports are embracing rapid testing: United has been leading the way with 15-minute results for passengers flying from San Francisco to Hawaii, while London Heathrow has started selling £80 tests with results available within an hour.





As parents are increasingly able to work from anywhere, we can anticipate a gradual rise in home-schooling – and, therefore, remote learning. There is a niche, glamorous subset of nomadic families on Instagram (such as @thebucketlistfamily) who provide a constant source of inspiration for people keen to educate their kids in the school of life – who wouldn’t prefer to spend their days swimming with turtles and learning to surf?


Source: Conde Nast Traveller

Images courtesy of (Photo courtesy,  (Photo: Instagram),  (Photo courtesy CNN) and (Photo courtesy The Bucket List Family)

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