10 Most Important Travel Trends for 2020

Take a look, plan ahead, and book now!

*Check out the 9 Most Important Travel Trends for 2019 here.

  1. Luxury Train Travel
    While it may seem to be a thing of the past, luxury train travel is back and it is as luxurious as ever! With many trains being restored to their former glory as in the days of the golden era of train travel, there is more and more opportunity for you to experience a seriously high-class train travel experience today throughout the world. The 'Romance of the Rails', as some call it, is beckoning those with a taste for the finer things, with trains boasting 5-course meals, swanky bedroom accommodations, and lavish decor throughout, it has never been easier to find the perfect luxury train trip for your group. While the most famous luxury trains are seen around Europe, as the Golden Eagle Trans Siberian Express, there are still options within North America, such as the highly beloved Vancouver to Toronto train trip aboard The Canadian. On this train prestige class enjoys lounges, scenic cars with clear ceilings, live performances and attentive concierge await! 

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  2. Insta-Tourism

    Now six (eight) years old, Instagram has more than 500 million active users daily sharing an average of 85 million photos a day. (National Geographic).

    Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most influential social media platforms out there right now, and believe it or not, it is having a huge effect on travelers. Today travelers are inspired by media-fueled tourism posts, most platforms saturated with selfie-snapping socialites sharing their perfect travel experiences. Seeing real people travel and take real snapshots of their destinations seems to be much more trustworthy for travelers today than looking through brochures or online sales pitches. Travel photos incite new wanderlust in viewers, so much so actually that 40% of Instagram users under 33 (Travelation) voted that 'Instagrammability' was one of their top factors in selecting a vacation destination. This new wanderlust is great for many tourism boards who have seen substantial increases after hiring Instagram Influencers but also may come with unwanted changes to popular destinations such as overcrowding, environmental degradation, and dangerous photo taking stunts. Just remember, be respectful of your location and don't go overboard just to get that perfect Instagram shot.

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    Are you ready for your next adventure? 🥰 #guidetoiceland 📸: @signaphoto

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  3. Underground Supper Clubs

    “It’s a community of people who are connected to each other and come together to eat good food in a home setting.” - Sunday Dinner Club

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Underground Supper Clubs, mystical little food-fueled gatherings that are popping up all over the world! These 'clubs' are for people interested in culinary experiences that are more community-minded, the event consisting of a 'pop up dinner' in a new location, with new people, trying new foods. These dinners are typically in a home setting with a mystery chef and mystery menu, though sometimes you will get the menu beforehand. The beauty about these clubs is you typically never know what to expect; you can have gourmet burgers and beers prepared by a celebrity chef in his home with a group of 30 strangers, or you can enjoy authentic exotic Philippine food flavors in a 'hidden restaurant' somewhere in your city. Some of the most popular clubs and restaurants within the United States include the Naked Lady Room in NYC, Hush in DC, and our personal favorite, the Sunday Dinner Club in Chicago.

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  4. Micro Trips
    Let's face it, not everyone in the world has the time, money, or know-how to plan an extended vacation, in fact, very little of the active traveling population does. That's why 2020 is the year to embrace Micro Trips, short yet experience-dense mini vacations. Micro Trips are more work/vacation time friendly, more budget-friendly, and more schedule-friendly, yet they provide the same cultural and mental benefits as longer vacations do. Though you may only be gone for 2-4 days, you will still benefit from stress relief, creative boosts, and cultural expansion as you will be leaving your own comfort zone regardless of where you are going. At Adventure Student Travel we like to call them 'Micro Adventures', and we set these up daily for groups interested in short, simple, and cheap travel experiences. From 1-day field trips to extended weekends across the country, Micro Adventures are perfect for on the go millennials!


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  5. Environmental Travel
    The term 'environmental travel' can have many different meanings to many different people, from sustainable travel methods and locations to natural habitat vacations, or maybe even volunteer vacations. The thing is, all of these 'green' travel trends are on the rise, and we love them all! We oftentimes send groups on volunteer vacations, trips in which they spend their time helping clean, plant, or build in a natural area that needs it. We also have groups that request eco-friendly travel methods and/or trips themed off of eco-friendly choices, such as farms, recycling centers, and national parks. Of course, national parks and natural habitat locations are becoming increasingly popular location choices, from places such as Yellowstone National Park to the Serengeti in Tanzania. We predict environmental travel will be at an all-time high in 2020! 

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    Adventures in the wild @nature 💦 Cambugahay Falls, Siquijor, Philippines. Photo by @natluperte #nature

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  6. DNA Trips

    'As long as there's been travel there's been an appetite for visiting where our ancestors are from. What's changed is DNA technology has become so much more accessible...' Robin Hauck EF Tours

    DNA Trips, aka 'ancestral tourism' is on the rise, with companies such as 23andMe and Ancestry taking a hold on the travel market with their DNA-based travel opportunities. The desire to track down our genealogical background is overwhelming today, and when you sign up for things such as a 23andMe DNA kit you actually get a visual breakdown of where your ancestors came from. That means you can plan a trip, or rather, have us plan a trip, solely based on your newly found roots! They will literally send you a map with your origin percentages by the appropriate area/country. This type of travel is so popular that a recent poll actually stated that 23% of 'long haul' Scotland guests are visiting based upon ancestry!


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    I've never been able to see my bloodline family tree since both of my parents were adopted. With that comes not knowing where the heck you come from which is huge in finding out who you are. So I took an #ancestrydna test and turns out I have a huge chunk of Irish in me. And this place I'm at today in Ireland was what I was looking forward to the most when I left home. Plus I got to road trip here through Irish countryside, driving on the opposite side of the car and road jamming Lorde! 😂 This has been the best two months of my life.. So far. And I just started tearing up rereading that. I've come so far and I'm so proud of myself for taking control of myself and my life. I can't get enough of this right now! ✨✨ • • • #Repost | 📸: @nicoledesoul #FamilyHistoryMonth

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  7. Book Festivals/Literary Travel
    Something gaining rapid popularity in the travel world is what we like to call 'literary travel', or travel based upon your favorite author, book, and/or book festival! There are several places to visit in the United States alone based on popular novels and their authors, such as a Mark Twain-themed trip to Hannibal, Missouri, or an NYC getaway based on the Great Gatsby's adventures. Several people base trips off of iconic libraries to see as well, and there is even a rising trend of planning trips based on book festivals happening across the nation. For instance, the highly popular Baltimore Book Festival sees crowds of thousands who have traveled to the area to see their favorite author speak or get an old classic signed!

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  8. Second City Travel
    Second City Travel is essentially the practice of skipping out on a major city and visiting a lesser known one nearby, instead. This is a rising trend as it is more budget-friendly, less crowded, and typically more culturally beneficial. One of our favorite 'second city' destinations is San Jose, California, in lue of San Francisco. While San Jose isn't exactly a 'small town', it offers world-class attractions, local Bay area charm, great food, and great scenery, all on a lower budget. You can find cities like this, big or small, near all major US cities. Instead of NYC, visit Saratoga Springs. Instead of Chicago, head to Evanston. We can help your group find the perfect 'second city' for your own trip!

  9. Northern Lights Trips
    2020 is the perfect year to finally go chase the northern lights, with the broadest expanse of Northern Light Trips available yet! A trip to see the Aurora Borealis is on 90% of travelers bucket lists, and it seems to be gaining popularity rapidly as time goes on. Lucky for you, we know all the best places to catch a glimpse and enjoy a vacation, from Denali National Park and Fairbanks in Alaska to the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. It is easy to base a whole trip off of seeing the lights, most towns like these with the best views holding several great hotels, outdoor recreation options, and attractions.

  10. Christmas Vacations
    From quick weekend trips to catch holiday parades or festivals to more extensive stays at holiday-themed resorts, Christmas themed vacations are certainly becoming quite the travel trend! More and more families are choosing to spend time together away from home during the holiday season, whether they are looking for tropical bliss getaways or Christmas themed locations. Chicago's Christkindlmarket is always a huge hit within the states, as is NYC and Aspen.

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