Thanks to Covid-19, the landscape for this year’s trip has been rocked by more ups and downs than a roller coaster ride. But with travel finally resuming (fingers crossed!), It’s time to consider a whole new year.
With so much wasted time to make up for, the travel scene looks set to skyrocket in interesting ways – from alternative wellness retreats to revenge trips to nomadic work arrangements. Here’s our look at what lies ahead for travel trends in 2022.
Go big or come home
You’ve heard of “revenge procrastination” and “revenge spending” – now prepare for a journey of revenge. The pandemic has wreaked havoc for years without vacations and countless missed celebrations – birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoons – and now it’s time to recover.
Experts predict travelers will want to splurge after the pandemic, whether it’s room upgrades, luxury packages or dining experiences. Expedia has dubbed the mindset “the greatest of all trips” (aka GOAT), with its Travel Trends 2022 survey showing that nearly three-quarters of Singaporeans plan to spend a lot on their next trip.
Not in my garden, please
Forget about mini-getaways near you – the future belongs to long-haul and extended travel. With all the hustle and bustle of PCR testing and form filling, weekend getaways will become more of a chore than a relaxing getaway. Many workers also face a backlog of leave to be cleared, and taking long vacations is the ideal solution.
After being on the ground for so long, there’s no denying the thrill of the jet-set to a faraway destination – Tripadvisor’s seasonal travel index for the end of 2021 reveals London, Paris and Munich topped the list of wishes of travelers from Singapore.
Take a psychedelic journey
Wellness getaways have become pretty much synonymous with yoga and spa treatments, but for those seeking spiritual healing, alternative trends are on the rise. We’re talking ayahuasca and magic mushroom retreats – retreats centered on journeys of self-discovery and therapy through herbal psychedelics. Post-pandemic stress, a dose of spiritual well-being is likely to become more sought after than ever.
With the shift in dominant views on psychedelics to understand their therapeutic potential, the demand for such retreats has increased in recent years. Sometimes dubbed ‘the mushroom boom’, the trend is only set to grow – according to Data Bridge Market Research, the psychedelic market is expected to grow from $ 2 billion ($ 2.7 billion) in 2019 to $ 6.9 billion in 2019. ‘by 2027.
Hot spots for psychedelic retreats include Costa Rica, the Netherlands, and Peru, where participants can typically participate in meditation, yoga, and other programs amid lush nature.
ALSO READ: Post-pandemic travel: what will the travel look like in 2022?
Mix business and pleasure
Working from a beach may once have been only thinkable for freelancers, but the pandemic has accelerated the rise of the digital nomad.
Months of lockdown and telecommuting have shown us that many types of work don’t really need a desk or presence time to get the job done – and we’d all be better off for that. For both employees and bosses, a change in mindset is happening – the idea of traveling the world while working remotely is now within our grasp.
It wasn’t long before companies jumped on the trend, either. Blueground, a startup that rents fully furnished apartments in 15 cities around the world, recently launched the Blueground Pass.
This pass gives digital nomads the freedom to jump between their collection of 4,000 apartments, all under one master lease. Meanwhile, Hilton is capitalizing on the desktop trend by rolling out hotel work packages tailored to those who mix business with pleasure.
Traveling green is in
Environmental awareness has sprouted over the past decade, and green travel is expected to remain strong in the post-pandemic period. An encouraging sign is a recent poll by travel tech giant Amadeus, which found that two-thirds of travelers around the world see sustainable travel as a priority.
This is played out in a penchant for venturing off the beaten track. Travelers eschew big cities for wild destinations and rural villages, explore safaris and resorts, and seek farm-to-table dining experiences.
The pristine Galapagos Islands, for its part, have seen an exponential increase in backpackers for its rich wildlife – snorkeling with sea lions, are you tempted? Meanwhile, hotels and resorts are taking the lead in reducing single-use plastics, turning to organic toiletries and bedding, and investing in composting systems.
Travel insurance is now essential
Once upon a time, the worst incident we had to worry about was loss of luggage or flight delays. These days, pandemic-like worries lurk around every corner: medical bills, quarantine issues, and trip cancellations, all of which can lead to hefty bills when they strike.
With the increase in new strains of Covid-19, let’s just say that our travel anxiety isn’t going away anytime soon. This means that travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage is no longer an added frill – it is on its way to becoming an essential safety net.
This article first appeared in Nomads of the city.