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7 Travel Predictions for 2021

Sadly 2020 has been a year of cancelled holidays, dashed dreams and unfulfilled adventures. But now, with rumours of a Coronavirus vaccine on the horizon, many experts predict that 2021 will become ‘the year of travel’ as we all make up for lost time. With this in mind, here are our seven travel predictions for 2021.

#1 Rapid testing will spell the end of mandatory quarantines 

Although we recently regained our ability to travel internationally to a majority of destinations, we normally need to complete some form of quarantine period to make it possible. At the moment, if you travel to a country that isn’t on the travel corridor list, you’ll need to self-isolate for two weeks when you return. In addition to this, even if you travel somewhere on the travel corridor list, you’ll usually have to prove that you’ve tested negative for the virus within the past 72 hours or go through a quarantine period when you arrive. Thankfully, fit-to-fly tests currently allow us to meet the requirements of destinations like Cyprus and most of the Greek islands, so we can avoid quarantine on arrival. Sadly though, these destinations are few and far between. As a result, rapid testing will be required before airline travel returns to normal. When instant or rapid testing is finally introduced at scale, travellers will be tested at the airport and will then be able to fly without fear. After another rapid test on arrival, quarantine periods will not be required, and we can enjoy our holidays as usual. Upon return, one final test will then be required to make sure we don’t need to quarantine and can get back to our daily lives. When this system is introduced (hopefully in 2021), we will eliminate the need for a quarantine (unless there’s a positive test). This means travel can return to normal.

#2 Staycations will remain popular 

Although many of us are eager to travel again, concerns about the virus will still linger into 2021. Although some epidemiologists believe we may have a vaccine by early 2021, many of us will need to wait until 2022 to be vaccinated. As a result, it’s fair to predict that many travellers will opt to stay in the UK for one more year to minimise risk. In 2020, most of us rediscovered the joys of travelling within the UK and uncovered hidden gems. After all, with no need for international flights or jet lag, staycations provide families with fun, hassle-free holidays. So, expect to see the resurgence of the traditional British seaside break in 2021. 

#3 Lesser-known locations will benefit 

Although we’re all eager to get some summer sun next year, the prospect of sitting on a crowded beach in Benidorm or navigating our way through the busy streets of Barcelona still doesn’t sit right with many of us. Due to this, off-the-beaten-track destinations like remote islands will likely get a lot more attention from tourists because they make it far easier to adhere to social distancing measures. For those that can afford it, far-flung destinations will likely be incredibly popular, with private islands in the Indian Ocean looking like a smart bet for people who want a great blend of luxury, sun and safety.


#4 Extended stays will become the norm 

While we’ve been unable to travel because of the pandemic, we’ve all been banking our annual leave. As a direct result of this, we all now have extra days we can take off next year. But rather than take multiple holidays with this time, it’s likely that many travellers will choose to extend their break for longer. Due to this, road trips will become popular, as will tours of countries like the USA, Australia and Japan. However, trips that cross borders will likely still be problematic as they’ll require additional health screenings. Thanks to this, we think extended stays in one country or destination are much more likely to be popular than continental tours. 

#5 A different cruise industry 

Although many of us are now willing to travel internationally again, many travellers are still hesitant to book a cruise due to fears over health. As a result, some companies are predicting that many cruises will not be leaving ports until at least the second half of 2021. But, although the cruise industry will not be back to normal in 2021, many cruise providers will be operating with changes in place. So, if you’d still like to take a cruise, you’ll definitely have the option. We predict that changes will include the end of buffet restaurants, strict health screenings before boarding and the introduction of new technologies that will keep people safe, such as sterilisation robots.


#6 A focus on sustainable tourism 

The Coronavirus pandemic has made many of us reassess our relationship with the planet. As a result, according to a recent report, 82% of us now identify sustainable travel as important. On top of this, 58% of us are currently looking to make more sustainable travel choices. Due to this, in 2021 many travellers will look at ways they can support the communities and cities they’re visiting in order to help them recover from the pandemic, ensuring the money they spend there is reinvested in helping the community thrive. 

#7 Multigenerational trips will become increasingly popular 

Many of us have not seen our families for almost the entirety of 2020. As a result, in 2021, we think that people will stop taking family time for granted and will make the most of every moment. As a result, we think that multigenerational holidays will become popular once again. The opportunity to go away as a big family on holiday has been unavailable to us this year and, with the ‘rule of six’ still in place in England, it seems unlikely that we’ll all be able to get together as a family this year. Due to this, big family holidays look like they’ll be common next year, with everyone getting together, making up for lost time. No matter what the holiday market looks like next year, one thing is for certain: we’ll never take the ability to travel for granted again. We’re hopeful that travel will make a triumphant return next year, so it’s time to get planning. The only question that remains is: which destination will you visit first?


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