Marking two full years of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and with it major restrictions on our ability to travel, it’s no surprise that the way we holiday has drastically shifted. Whilst some of the ways we travel have started to return, gone are the days of a quick last-minute getaway with no thought for a country’s entry requirements or isolation periods. When making a trip abroad, planning has become an integral, if slightly frustrating, part of the process. And you know what? As restrictions have been in place in some form or another for so long, many of us have willingly taken extra time planning just so we can go on holiday.
Given that such restrictions are pretty much unavoidable as we step into a third year of living with COVID-19, here at HIP Hotels we wanted to look at the new trends appearing in the way we travel. Less common are the multiple-trips-a-year to various destinations, and more so are longer trips further afield, keeping our feet closer to the ground, and making the most of time away. Will the way we travel ever return to pre-pandemic ways? We don’t know. But we do know that the desire to travel has not faltered, that the following travel trends are here to stay for the foreseeable future, and our gratitude for the ability to travel has increased tenfold!
Towards the beginning of the pandemic, when the majority of the world’s travel and tourist attractions ceased for the first time in modern history, nature returned to areas it hadn’t been for decades and pollution dramatically decreased. Fishes swarming the Venice canals could be seen, now that the suet wasn’t being constantly stirred up by the gondolas, dolphins returned to harbours, goats took over towns due to the lack of cars on the roads, birds returned to habitats that had previously existed beneath flight paths, and countries that hadn’t seen stars in decades, thanks to air travel and pollution, could see them once again. And the world noticed, joyfully.
Although not all of those examples will be able to be maintained as travel once again takes off, a lot of people now have wildlife and reducing their carbon footprint at the forefront of their minds when they plan their holidays. Whether they look for eco-friendly hotels, choose a flight with reduced emissions, forego flying altogether, or simply make more environmentally conscious choices throughout their trip, travellers are becoming more responsible, and thankfully it’s a trend we don’t see slowing down any time soon!
From Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas and Spa in the breathtaking Tanzania, to Andersen Boutique Hotel, which lies in the heart of Denmark’s beautiful capital Copenhagen, the amount of eco-conscious and environmentally sustainable hotels is growing every day!
Now that all travel has become a little more tricky, people are travelling further afield to make the most of trips, given the easy options aren’t as easy as they once were. Instead of popping over to a nearby country for some warm weather and sunshine, there has been an increase in people travelling much further for the same type of weather, because why not? If you’re from the UK and you’re looking for some winter sun, sure Europe is close by, but why not tick off your bucket list and go to the Maldives? Mexico? Or even Australia? All trips involve some kind of planning now, so more and more travellers are putting that effort into a holiday that would have required a little more planning anyway!
When COVID-19 first arrived, working from home and working remotely suddenly became the norm. Despite a lot of businesses and companies returning to their offices, a lot haven’t, and even more have begun to offer a hybrid working environment, where employees can combine coming into the office with days spent working from home. Now that people have had a taste for it, it has become incredibly popular, with over half of office workers stating they would be willing to leave their job for one that allows them to work remotely.
Despite working from home being all the rage in 2022, this concept has been around for a long time under the title “Digital Nomad”, which is defined as “a person who earns a living working online in various locations of their choosing”. Digital Nomads were definitely one of the more rare branches of the employed population prior to the pandemic, but becoming one now feels like a natural next step for many workers that shifted to working from home in the Spring of 2020. Being able to do your job from more or less anywhere in the world? It sounds like a dream! Imagine being cosied up in a cabin surrounded by mountains, hitting the ski slopes every weekend, or sunning yourself on an ocean view balcony, taking dips in the glistening water on your lunch break. Wouldn’t that be utter bliss?! As long as you have a wifi connection, and the time zone you’re in works with your employer, the world is your oyster!
There are plenty of places around the world that are ideal long-stay destinations to work remotely such as Casa Decu and Palazzo Radomiri, both ready and waiting to host you for a glorious long-stay. There are also some wonderful hotels that offer workation packages for those of you hoping to work-away in luxury, such as Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas and Chetzeron, with areas to work, wifi and plenty of coffee available!
Breathtaking scenery, bottomless snacks, your favourite music blaring, friends surrounding you, and the ability to pull away from the beaten path; that’s what holidays are all about, right?! Well that’s what road trips give you, and so much more. Once we were allowed to start leaving our houses again, but before restrictions to other countries eased, road trips became a more popular holiday choice, as people realised there was so much of their home countries that they hadn’t imagined exploring. Now we can once again travel abroad, road trips can even be taken into other countries, whilst you bring your home comforts with you for the ride, with no airline weight limit to adhere to!
Of course, you can do road trips in a variety of ways - from city hopping in a glamorous convertible and staying in hotels each night, to going off the beaten track and camping out beneath blankets of stars, road trips can be catered to everyone and anyone wanting a unique trip away. Let’s not forget the country arguably infamous for its road trips and ever-changing landscape between states, the US. Drive coast to coast to experience a multitude of breathtaking landscapes or along the coastal Route 1 for the best of California and the clearest stars you’ll ever see. Or explore parts of Europe, and take the perfect Italian summer road trip.
Some Digital Nomads are going on the ultimate road trip and living in luxurious (sometimes self-built!) campervans, literally taking their homes with them as they travel full time and work from the road! Please excuse us whilst we go and read up about VanLife…
We have already mentioned responsible travel but a trend that is taking off (but literally it is doing the opposite) this year, is travelling to a destination via train instead of via airplane. Depending on where you're travelling to and how far away it is, this mode of transport may add a little time onto the actual journey, but it cuts out airport time either side, reduces your carbon footprint massively, usually means no weight restrictions on baggage (plus potential extra baggage allowance!), and can give you some breathtaking views of the passing landscapes.
One thing to also consider is the existence of sleeper trains! Sure, you could spend a few hours sat uncomfortably upright in a plane, with airports to deal with, and having to sort out travel from the airport to the city at your arrival location... or you can get a good night's rest as you are blissfully transported right into the heart of the destination, no excess faff necessary, without having lost barely any time at all from your day, whilst helping the planet at the same time!
Wanting to be as eco-conscious as possible, and encourage their guests to do the same, Eco Hotel Saltus in South Tyrol gives guests that arrive via train a 5% discount on their stay, and collects them directly from the station upon their arrival. They also offer initiatives to help make your trip completely climate neutral! For more information, please click here.
Let’s talk about making the most out of a holiday… why not embrace the time you’re away and visit multiple destinations?! Like a cruise, except on land! Although this can be done on a road trip, you can still visit multiple places without travelling via car. One way to do this is to get on planes for short journeys between destinations, but who wants to have to go through security and customs repetitively on the same trip?! In Europe especially, one of the best ways to do this is via coach, with various companies offering multiple daily journeys between neighbouring cities from just a few Euros. For a slightly more comfortable, and most likely more scenic journey, there are always trains!
Why don’t you take a trip through central Europe starting in Berlin, before heading south to Prague, then onto Vienna, and finally east to Budapest? Or travel Italy north to south, starting in Milan, travelling through Florence, Rome and Naples before getting right to the tip of the boot in Reggio Calabria? With it being a little more difficult to go away at the moment, we would just like you to be able to make the most out of a visit abroad, and what better way to do that than a multi-stop trip?!
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