When it’s time to get away, everyone has unique travel and destination requirements – and there are ever-changing preferences driving year-to-year trends. Budget drives a lot of the decisions, but so does the time away from home or the office – whether it’s several weeks or a long weekend. For others, it’s the experience – planned or free-wheeling, adventure or luxury, event based, or activity focused. Finally, there’s safety, health and other travel risks to consider.
My forecast for the 2020 travel trends is based on expert analysis, travel costs, social media tagging, frequent traveler survey responses, political dynamics, and cultural influences. Every decision weighed the “cool” factor against the “fool” factor – meaning the potential rewarding experience must respect the conceivable risk coupled with the trip. Here’s the result: a list of top travel trends — and destinations — for 2020.
Travel Trends For 2020: Balancing Risk & Reward | The New Classy
Chernobyl, Ukraine – Chernobyl is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. Thepopular HBO show “Chernobyl” ended in June 2019, and travelers interested in visiting this site in Ukraine have not slowed down. Higher than normal levels of radiation are not a deterrent for travelers who want to see ground zero of the accident. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the radioactive isotopes lingering in the atmosphere are at tolerable exposure levels for limited periods of time. Experts recommend traveling with a licensed guide and visiting only for limited periods of time (most tours are limited to a maximum of two hours). It’s a trend, for sure, but not one I’d recommend visiting. You can easily plan around ocean tides, weather, etc. but you can’t smell radioactivity. You can’t see it and you can’t taste it. But radioactive poisoning shows up years down the road.
Paraty, Brazil – Move over, Rio de Janeiro. The new travel trend is choosing second cities — lesser known destinations — as a way to reduce over tourism. If Brazil is a location you’d like to explore try Paraty, a peaceful coastal town four hours from Rio. The town offers a variety of activities and sights: jeep tours of the rainforest at Serra da Bocaina National Park, 18th century colonial architecture, artisanal shops with art and jewelry, snorkeling the waters on one of the 300 beaches, culinary delights at restaurants and street-side vendors, or boat tours to watch dolphins and turtles. In 2019 Brazil made it easier for tourists, lifting visa restrictions for American and Canadian tourists. Brazil’s climate also makes it a place for mosquito-based outbreaks, such as Chikungunya, dengue, malaria and Zika.
Banff, Alberta, Canada – Is itfamily vacation time? Looking to get your Gramping on? Do you want a destination that makes the grandparents, parents and grandchildren happy? Try Banff in Alberta, Canada. Boomers can relax in the steaming hot waters of Banff Hot Springs, while the GenZ set heli-ski any of the three ski areas. U.S. News & World Report named Banff one of the world’s 30 best places to visit. Winter activities go beyond skiing and include: ice skating, snowshoeing, dog sledding, curling, snowmobile tours, tubing, and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Banff is surrounded by glorious, jagged, snow-topped mountains like Mt. Rundle, Sulphur Mountain, Mt. Norquay and Cascade Mountain. Travelers should be aware Banff is 4,537 feet above sea level making altitude sickness a risk.
Mali Lošinj, Croatia – For more than a century Mali Lošinj has been a top pick for a wellness retreat. Increasingly travelers are making personal wellness a focus of their trips and look to include: healthy eating, self-improvement, digital detoxes, stress reduction, weight loss, nature experiences, spa stays and yoga retreats. Officials boast that the island’s 200 days of sunshine, 1,018 plant species, 174 miles of footpaths, and 69 miles of coastline make Mali Lošinj “the ideal aromatherapy center and a modern destination of vitality, health tourism and environmental awareness.” Mali Lošinj is a fishing village, and most of the architecture remains unchanged since its time as a European shipping power. Rabies can be found in dogs, bats and other mammals in Croatia, so avoid stray animals.
*This post was contributed by Harding Bush. Harding Bush is a former Navy SEAL, travel expert, and associate manager of operations at Global Rescue.