8 travel trends experts predict for 2022

Recently updated on August 14th, 2023 at 11:27 am

Travellers are feeling more experimental, are chasing meaningful travel and want to connect with destinations and not just sightsee. Families will meet for reunions, those big bucket-list trips are back on the cards and flexibility is key. From the best destinations to visit in 2022 through to the hottest travel trends, we’re feeling super positive about the future of travel and so should you. 

1. Flexible tickets 

Flexibility will be one of the big 2022 travel trends again. While most of the travel industry jumped on board with more flexible policies since the pandemic, the trend is set to continue into the new year. Lots of travellers are still taking a “wait and see” approach to travel, booking at the last minute or choosing flexible tickets. Some airlines have reintroduced ticket flexibility for the most basic economy passengers, and online travel agents have seen an increase in people buying “cancel for any reason” add ons.

Ticket and passport at airport

2. Trip stacking

There are reports that eager travellers are trip stacking the destinations they wish to visit in 2022. Those with enough cash to splash have been booking two trips at the same time just in case one of them falls through due to regulation changes caused by the pandemic. The intention is to take both trips eventually, rescheduling the other one for a later date. 

3. Big, grand adventures

There’s another type of trip stacking too. Why do one tour when you can stack trips back-to-back? Eager travellers have a long wish list of places to visit in 2022 and with plenty of annual leave and cash saved from almost two years at home, many will start planning that once-in-a-lifetime grand adventure. 

While Australians visiting Europe are well known to spend at least a month travelling around (a necessity after that very long flight!), Americans, Brits and Europeans will eagerly take a longer break and tick off more destinations they want to visit in 2022.

GET INSPIRED BY: Scandinavian Northern Lights

4. Less human contact

Say goodbye to your receptionist and hello to a digital screen. While travel is often about the amazing humans you meet, the next time you travel you might be in contact with fewer customer service people. The pandemic has made hotels, car hire companies and airlines rethink how their customers and staff interact. A 2020 travel trend we expect to see more on the road is contactless or people-free hotel lobbies and ways to pay or pick up keys without personal contact.

5. Meaningful holidays

Eco and wellness travel has been trending for a few years, and in 2022 the new travel trend will shift towards meaningful travel. While we expect travel companies, airlines and hotels to catch up with sustainability – removing single-use plastics, adding recycling bins and using eco-friendly cleaning products – travellers are looking for more. After nearly two years of being disconnected from the world, we want deeper, more meaningful connections with the places we visit in 2022. We want to break bread with locals, learn from local artisans and taste the things we saw others try on that travel documentary during lockdown.

RELATED BLOG: 9 incredible Make Travel Matter Experiences you can enjoy with Trafalgar

6. Nature and beach vacations

We saw it in 2021, and we’ll see it again in 2022 travel trends. The favourite destinations to visit in 2022 are closely linked to nature. While city breaks and staycations will remain popular, there’s nothing quite as relaxing as kicking back on a beach in Costa Rica, Portugal or Spain, cruising across Lake Como or exploring the Dolomites, visiting America’s greatest National Parks, seeing the Canadian Rockies up close or meeting Alaska’s marine life.

GET INSPIRED BY: Costa Rica Eco Adventure

7. Long haul travel is back

Great news! The top places to visit in 2022 are all further than the walk to your fridge. Swap those sweatpants for sneakers and pull out your epic travel bucket list. The travel industry is reporting spikes in bookings for those big, spectacular trips like a safari in Kenya or Tanzania, seeing the pyramids in Egypt or swinging through the jungles of Costa Rica. Here at Trafalgar we’re seeing a rise in booking for these types of trips from April 2022.

GET INSPIRED BY: Wonders of Kenya

8. Multi-generation travel

Missed Christmas gatherings, skipped Easter lunches and cancelled Thanksgiving means many families are looking for ways to make up for lost time. We expect to see family reunions happen as multiple generations embark on special trips and make new memories on the road together. These holidays will most likely be scheduled off peak to celebrate special birthdays or wedding anniversaries with the extended family. 

RELATED BLOG: Celebrate the rise of skip-gen travel with these 6 adventures

Planning for an iconic 2022 trip? Request the latest Trafalgar brochure and start dreaming

So, those are the 2022 travel trends. Tell us in the comments which places you want to visit in 2022 and why…

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