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What are the 2021 travel trends?

2021 Travel: Which Travel Niches Will Thrive This Year?

2021 Travel: What Will Be the Top Travel Trends This Year??

2020 turned the travel industry upside down. Plans changed. Flights were canceled. Nothing turned out like anyone could have predicted. Many of the travel niches expected to thrive in 2020 came to a screeching halt early in the year. Now that 2021 travel plans are starting to roll in, industry experts are seeing some interesting trends. Some niches continue to remain at a standstill while others are slowly picking up steam. And yet others are gaining traction rapidly. These are some of the top travel trends of 2021 to be aware of. 

  • Digital Nomads
  • Schoolcations
  • Off-the-Grid or Secluded travel
  • Disney Vacations
  • Wellness Travel
  • River Cruises
  1. “Digital Nomads”

Our first two trends may fall under last year’s broader category of long-term family travel.  Long-term family travel was already on the rise due to the increased flexibility of working from home. With the pandemic, more employers than ever before are allowing people to work from home… or from anywhere. And some families are taking advantage of this by picking up everything and relocating to beautiful, remote locations. This past year Barbados rolled out a 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp, which allows telecommuting workers to live and work there for one year. Several other countries soon followed suit with “Digital Nomad Visas.” Longer trips like these appeal to families as these allow them time to quarantine upon arrival, and move about more slowly and cautiously rather than packing a busy itinerary into a one-week trip.

  1. Schoolcations

With many families opting for distance learning or homeschool, parents are looking for ways to offer their kids real-life learning even while distancing. This could include ideas such as history-based tours, studying wildlife at a beach, or a hiking excursion in the mountains. Airbnb’s, cabins, RV’s are great choices for families looking for great accommodations while avoiding crowds.

  1. Off-the-Grid or Secluded Travel

An off-the-grid vacation can be great for the body and mind. Travelers looking to avoid crowds this year may turn to cabin rentals… or even glamping! Fun, family-friendly activities for an off-the-grid vacation might include fishing, hiking, swimming, biking, or horseback riding. Check out this list of Centrav employees’ favorite US destinations for outdoor travel.

  1. Disney Vacations

The Disney brand always manages to exceed expectations even during unprecedented situations. Once again, Disney has gone above and beyond during the pandemic finding ways to keep their park experiences safe and magical during these times. Visitors can expect park capacity reduced to 25-35%, strict mask requirements, social distancing, and sanitizing. For travelers who don’t enjoy spending hours in line for a ride, the reduced capacity may actually be a welcome change. While meet and greets with favorite characters won’t be the same, children will be marveled by the impromptu character cavalcades parading through the park.  

  1. Wellness Travel

Feeling overwhelmed by the past year? Consider a wellness trip to decompress! What is wellness travel? Many might say it involves health-promoting activities such as exercise, healthy eating, or even a spa component. But wellness travel is really quite broad and includes any type of travel that benefits your physical, mental or even emotional health. By that definition, wouldn’t any vacation be a wellness trip? ?

Unlike a typical vacation, however, wellness trips generally include a slower pace, quiet, and a bit of welcome solitude. 

  1. River Cruises

River cruises have been a rising alternative to ocean voyages the past few years. And now with travelers looking to move in smaller groups, river cruises are soaring in popularity. Bookings for river cruises have increased by 14% for 2021. Why are river cruises so popular? The small crew and slower-paced nature of a river cruise allow for more safety protocols. Additionally, river cruises offer many unique benefits such as excellent scenery, cultural immersion, and smooth, easy sailing.


Shawna Levet

Shawna is passionate about helping travel agents grow their business and expand their knowledge as travel experts. She has been in the travel industry since 2011, helping agents and travelers alike find the best negotiated airfare and travel coverage to meet their needs.

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