For us , forecasting travel trends is a yearly ritual, but as we all know, 2020 travel did not go as planned. In 2021, we made no attempt to peer into our crystal ball. However, as travel resumes in 2022, we sought out to tour operators to learn where they plan to travel this year.
Not only did they share their forthcoming trips, but they also informed us about the growing travel trends for the coming year. For example, global guided holiday provider Trafalgar anticipates that summer 2022 will be a huge one, with passengers already booking vacations primarily in May/June 2022.
Meanwhile, Intrepid Travel has witnessed a 144 percent rise in domestic bookings in the United States and the United Kingdom compared to the year prior to the outbreak. Domestic travel is expected to remain popular in all regions in 2022, since various COVID variants continue to create uncertainty regarding international travel, as was recently demonstrated with the Omicron version, which resulted in fast border closures and new travel restrictions. While passengers will need to be flexible with their trip plans, Intrepid asserts that they will continue to seek out adventures within their own borders to avoid these difficulties. Ultimately, only time shall tell!
The Indonesian island of Bali
“I’m on my way to Bali as soon as possible,” says Steve Lima, G Adventures’ Marketing Director. “Bali is an excellent destination to refuel, relax, and also get active in 2022. My intention is to start at the beaches and then travel north to some of the island’s less touristic areas. Perhaps trek to the summit of Mount Batur and, of course, pedal through Ubud’s very tranquil and beautiful rice farms. Bali is both physical and mental exercise, and it will leave me energized and prepared for whatever 2022 throws at me!”
According to Tom Armstrong of tour operator Tauck, 2022 is an excellent opportunity for the slightly more adventurous traveller to explore Europe’s beauties before the masses return in masse.
Italy was the top international destination on our readers’ wish list for 2022, according to our recent State of Travel study. Trafalgar’s top 15 trips for 2022 are entirely European, with the 13-day Best of Italy tour ranking first. Armstrong notes that Italy is one of Tauck’s most popular European destinations, and this year offers an excellent opportunity to experience it.
Spend two weeks exploring Naples, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, Rome, Umbria, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Florence, and Venice on Tauck’s Classic Italy tour for an in-depth Italian experience. If you do not have two weeks to spend in Italy, consider A Week In… Venice, Florence, and Rome, a shorter itinerary that visits three iconic Italian cities. Both itineraries include an after-hours guided visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel without the throng.
Ireland And The United Kingdom
According to Trafalgar, tourists are using their vacation days to schedule vacations longer than a typical week-long stay in order to truly immerse themselves in their destinations. Best of Ireland & Scotland and Britain & Ireland Highlights are two of the company’s most popular excursions, lasting 15 and 10 days, respectively.
“My first trip of the year will be to Ireland to celebrate a milestone birthday with two of my childhood closest friends who are also having a milestone birthday this year,” Melissa DaSilva, Trafalgar’s president, explains. “We’re going to Dublin, Galway, and the lovely Ashford Castle. I’m excited to travel again, but especially to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen since the pandemic began, as our last two visits were cancelled owing to lockdowns and limitations,” she says.
“My goal for this year is to immerse myself in the beauty of our world through wildlife and nature,” Heidi Durflinger, president of EF Go Ahead Tours, explains. “I wish I could return to Kenya. The connection to nature is surreal, and you’ll feel revitalized and refreshed upon your return.”
Refer to Sarah Kingdom’s Ultimate Guide To Planning Your First African Safari for inspiration.
Portugal And Spain
“This will be an excellent year to visit Spain and Portugal,” Armstrong says. “These are two of Europe’s rising stars!” Spend a week in Spain, another in Portugal, or on Tauk’s Spain and Portugal tour, you may do both.
“A few years ago, my wife and I had a Tauck river cruise on the Rhine, and it was without a doubt one of the nicest holidays we’d ever had,” Armstrong adds. “We’re still in the planning stages, but we’re hoping to do a river cruise this year on either the Danube or the Douro. Both rivers are home to rich culture and scenery. However, Tauck recently inaugurated our brand-new MS Andorinha riverboat on the Douro, which may tilt the balances in Portugal’s favour! In either case, we’re major fans of river sailing and are anticipating a fantastic trip.”
Armstrong recommends taking a tour to Northern Spain, the Rioja Valley, and Madrid. This popular itinerary begins in Barcelona and travels through northern Spain for two weeks, stopping in Montserrat, Cardona, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Leon, and Santiago de Compostela, among other places, before concluding in Madrid.