A couple finding peace and wellness on a hike in the fall

Top Travel Trends for Fall 2020

August 26th, 2020

Every quarter we look forward to the next 3 months and summarize the trends we see by analizing dozens of data points and surveying hundreds of experts in the tourism industry.

What is the Big Theme for Tourism in Fall 2020?

With everything we have encountered so far this year, it is no surprise that trending travel searches include such terms as “escaping,” and “rest,” and “stress reduction.”

Our “new normal,” which now includes working from home, homeschooling children, paired with the absence of our daily and weekly rituals and routines that have previously kept us sane-going to the gym, getting or hair and nails done- have women craving solitude, rejuvenation and a restored sense of peace.

Travel has been severely restricted with passport delays, border closings and quarantine requirements so finding a place to go has become more of a challenge, but it’s not stopping those seeking respite from the madness.

So where are we headed on vacation this year? Read on to discover some great ideas and some surprising trends in travel that are cropping up all over in response to our growing desire to get away.

#1 Glamping

Right in this moment, camping has emerged as a huge trend in travel in 2020. This is not the camping you remember from your childhood with pop up tents, sleeping bags and bugs galore. “Glamping” as it has been so affectionately coined, involves accommodations that have a rustic feel, but usually include at home amenities such as kitchens, air conditioning and comfy beds.

Located in remote locations, camping has given people the chance to “disappear” and stop to appreciate the things we may have taken for granted like the fresh air that surrounds us, silence that embraces us, and the sights and sounds that can only be found in the deep wild. Wide open spaces without the need to social distance or don a mask, give a sense of freedom and a break from the constant anxiety and buzz of the daily grind.

Kayaks, bikes and fishing equipment sales are through the roof with many of these items sold out or on back order. This desire for outdoor recreational equipment further reinforces the fact that seeking the solace of what nature provides is a travel trend that has taken hold and isn’t letting go anytime soon.

Camping also leads the way to another up and coming wellness trend- “forest bathing” which is the Japanese practice (shinrin-yoku) of spending time outdoors immersed in the woods, allowing your senses to take over. According to Forest Holidays, a company that specializes in Forest Bathing vacations, this sacred discipline is suggested to have “real and long-term benefits including, among other things, reduced stress, improved immunity, lower blood pressure and accelerated recovery from illness or trauma.” Sounds like just what the doctor ordered, and that is something we all can benefit from in this current climate.

There are so many great options for a camping escape, and with a lot of places to camp nearby, it isn’t any wonder this is one of the hottest trends this summer.

Nothing soothes rattled nerves and imposes a sense of freedom like taking to the open road. According to AAA, more and more travelers are planning road trips for vacation than ever, with over 700 million estimated to travel by car.

Driving to a destination allows for adventurous unplanned stops to explore, which further adds to the excitement of the journey. Driving also is a safe way to get to where you’re going, traveling only with your friends or family you know, versus a plane full of strangers.

In a car or RV, you are in control of the level of sanitation and cleanliness standards which gives an extra level of assurance not found in air travel, making this an obvious selection for anyone concerned about health risks.

There are so many benefits to a drive vacation-distance can be a few hundred to a few thousand miles, allowing the freedom to plan for a few days to a few weeks’ getaway. Travel budget can be extremely flexible with food and lodging expenses an easy variable, depending on preference-picnics on the roadside to luxury accommodations are all a possibility.

And where are people driving to the most? One popular stop is our National Parks located here in the United States. Once overlooked as a popular place to vacation losing out to action packed theme parks, these beautiful national treasures (there are 62 of them) are giving tourists a vast place to stretch their legs and take in natural wonders and wildlife at a relaxed pace.

It is also worth noting, in keeping with the road trip trend, that RV rentals have increased significantly in 2020. Not only are you ready to literally drive off to wherever your heart desires, RV’s also provide the additional appeal of being able to work or school from anywhere so with a mobile hotspot you are all set take off. And additional bonus with an RV, there is no need to book hotels or search for open restaurants as both things are under your feet and with you wherever you decide to go.

With a driving need to reconnect to ourselves and regain a sense of peace, yoga and mindfulness retreats have become the go to trend for wellness travel. Mind body centers with resort like settings, such as Kripulu in Massachusetts, and The Art of Living Retreat Center, located in in the mountains North Carolina, are escape destinations that permit visitors to detach from the outside world and turn their focus inward for peace and renewal.

Meditation, yoga classes, journaling, prepared clean eating or vegan meals, and hiking are just a few of the activities available to adventurers seeking this type of respite from the every day. Instead of the hurried pace of touring or planning every minute of a holiday, this movement towards just “being,” or taking time away to relax, is something we can be sure that we will see more of in the coming months.

And finally, for those travelers just looking to have a change of scenery, hotels themselves are now standing alone as destinations. The appeal of checking in and checking out has inspired many popular chains to offer packages that include such amenities as spa treatments, poolside yoga classes and outdoor activities such as horseback riding and archery. Cooking classes, since we are all preparing more meals at home, are also being touted as a much sought-after activity. One great example are these classes being offered at resorts like Chateau Elan in Georgia-a fun way to learn some new recipes and sharpen your knife skills.

Changing up your surroundings and breaking from your normal routine is something that more and more travelers are looking to do, and when choosing hotels within driving distance, this type of vacation doesn’t require a whole lot of planning. Staying at your favorite hotel also allows you to use up points that may have accumulated, and this trend can be enjoyed solo or with a group of girlfriends or family.

Today, with the across the globe travel restrictions and the unknown of potential future health concerns, choosing to stay close to home and seeking a slower, more introspective vacation with self-care in mind, is a travel trend that will be with us in the near future and beyond.