How to get on board with this year’s travel trends

By Annabelle Thorpe

In many ways, travel is like fashion; trends come and go – one year every A-lister wants to be seen hanging out at a Moroccan riad, the next there’s nothing cooler than a Caribbean island retreat. So what’s the big news for 2020? Where should we all be holidaying, and why? The annual Kuoni Worldwide Travel Report gives a snapshot of tastes and trends for the coming year, according to the experts at 101 Holidays.

Sri Lanka

Back on the tourist map since June 2019, when the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) lifted its travel ban, Sri Lanka is one of the few places where exploring with a private driver and car is an affordable option, giving you the freedom to plan your own itinerary. Explore the colonial architecture and lively streets of Colombo, spend time in the tranquil tea plantations, and end with a few lazy days at a luxury beach resort.

Weddings Abroad

According to last year’s Hitched National Wedding Survey, getting married in the UK costs an average of £31,974. According to Kuoni’s report, if you get hitched abroad, you’ll spend an average of £8,483 – so it’s no wonder that increasing numbers of couples are heading overseas to celebrate their nuptials. Tropical Sky is the market leader in weddings abroad, with a dedicated team who can put together packages from two to two hundred, with ceremonies possible everywhere from a beach in Bali to a safari lodge in Kenya.

Egypt

The good times are back for this intoxicating country, with no FCO advice against travelling to Cairo, Alexandria, or the tourist sites along the Nile. The big news is the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, due at the end of this year – making Cairo ideal for a short winter-sun break, while Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile, due for release in November, is set to put cruising up the Nile back on everyone’s wish list.

The Front of the Abu Simbel Temple, Aswan, Egypt, Africa

Foodie Trips

As we all become more thoughtful about what we eat, trips that focus on food – particularly street food – are becoming increasingly popular. Whether you want to try gyoza and ramen in Japan, gorge on tortillas and tequila in Mexico, or travel through Thailand, dipping into noodle soups in Bangkok and taking a cookery lesson in Chiang Mai, there’s a gastro-themed trip to suit.

The Maldives

Everyone’s Robinson Crusoe-fantasy destination, the Maldives continues to grow in popularity, with 1.5m visitors in 2019. New airport links are set to make arriving into the island nation easier, and new luxury hotels and resorts pop up with astonishing regularity; the Joali opened in 2018, with fantastic kids’ activities and a world-class ESPA spa, while established resorts such as Soneva Fushi offer the ultimate in barefoot luxury.

Vietnam

Blessed with gorgeous beaches, fantastic food and stunning natural landscapes that offer plenty of adventure, it’s no surprise that Vietnam is booming as a tourist destination. The best itineraries for first-timers take in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An and Hue, while those with a bit more time can combine Vietnam with Cambodia for a unique insight into Indochina.

Familymoons

The traditional honeymoon has undergone something of a reinvention in recent years; we’re marrying later (the average age in 2019 was 35 for women, 37 for men) and often after we’ve had children. Familymoons are an increasing trend; take the kids on the adventure of a lifetime through Thailand, visiting elephant sanctuaries, bustling cities and white-sand beaches, or chill out in gorgeous Mauritius, where the whole family can dive, snorkel or simply laze on the beach. Caribbean resorts often have fantastic kids clubs and activities for kids; try Antigua with its 365 beaches – one for every day of the year.

Family Experience

Ocean Cruising

One of the fastest growing areas of travel, ocean cruising is a great way to see the highlights of a country without endlessly changing hotels and catching trains or planes. The dramatically beautiful scenery and unspoilt landscapes of Alaska are increasingly popular, and there are plenty of itineraries that pair the chilly north with an exploration of the west coast of America, beginning in San Francisco.

3G Safaris

Thankfully this has nothing to do with tracking the Big Five on your phone – the 3G refers to three generations – an increasing trend for adventure-friendly grandparents to join (and pay for) a family trip. Safaris are hugely popular as a multi-generational trip, particularly South Africa, which has no malaria and no time difference. Combine the vibrant city of Cape Town with time in a game park, or follow a safari with some serious relaxation in the Seychelles.

Private Island Weddings

If the budget can stretch, a private island wedding is the ‘in vogue’ way to celebrate your nuptials. Kuoni’s most popular destination is the Zilwa Attitude in Mauritius, where guests can create an intimate, rustic-chic ceremony for 25 guests on the resort’s uninhabited island, Grand Zil. But the ultimate wedding location has to be Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, where ceremonies can be created for up to 200 people, or just for the couple and their kids.

Find more travel ideas at 101 Holidays.