Travel Trends for 2022

Great news! Consumer confidence in travel is rising, with ABTA reporting 61% of people plan to go abroad within the next year, up 4% from 2021. This increase is likely a result of the relaxing of requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and the shift from the UK's traffic light travel system to a single red list.

But what sort of holidays will people take in 2021, and how has the pandemic changed the way we travel? Here we'll reveal all, with a closer look at the top travel trends for 2022.

Upgraded holidays & bucket list trips

More and more people will travel in 2022 to make up for lost time. According to the recent Travel in 2022 report by ABTA, 49% of people say a lack of opportunity to travel in the last couple of years has made holidays more important to them than ever before. This feeling is particularly true of families with children over the age of five, where 65% of those asked said they would prioritise travel in 2022.

This year holidaymakers are likely to spend more on their next trip. Either by upgrading their hotel rooms, extending their stays or even opting for more expensive destinations. We also expect to see more people booking once-in-a-lifetime, meaningful trips, with 37% saying they're likely to visit a country they've never been to before.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted life's fragility, and many are no longer willing to wait to tick trips off their travel bucket list. Know the feeling? We've compiled a list of trips to tick off your travel bucket list from South African safaris to Everest Base Camp treks in 2022. Read our blog post to inspire your travel bucket list.

Expert-led travel bookings

To say that the COVID-19 pandemic knocked the travel industry is an understatement. It most certainly impacted consumer confidence. As a result, in 2022, we expect to see consumers placing greater value on travel agents and experts to help them book their holidays.

According to ABTA, 30% of people are more likely to book with a travel expert now than before the pandemic. This is because people are looking for expert guidance on COVID-19 travel restrictions and the security offered by holiday packages. It's especially true of younger travellers, who were most likely to book holidays exclusively online pre-pandemic.

Sustainable travel

Sustainable travel will continue to be a top priority for holidaymakers in 2022, with people looking to combine their environmental and social concerns with their passion for travel.

54% of holidaymakers say choosing a travel provider with good environmental and sustainability credentials is important. In contrast, in 2011 this was just 20%.

We're now moving towards a trend of people booking accommodation, activities and transport with lower carbon footprints, and they're willing to pay more.

In line with this, we expect to see more travellers booking travel activities and experiences run by locals and grassroots organisations to ensure local people benefit from tourism. Additionally, travellers may look into volunteer programmes while they're abroad as a way of giving back to the community.

And it's not just travellers that will be making more sustainable choices in 2022. Travel companies are also prioritising nature. Through rewilding programmes and other initiatives, they are working closely with destinations, accommodation, and transport providers to limit their holidays' impact on wildlife, habitats and the environment as a whole.

Health and well-being trips

After the stress of lockdowns, being stuck indoors, and COVID-19 continuing to cause numerous uncertainties, many people are looking to get away from it all. In 2022, people will take trips to improve their emotional health and well-being, favouring remote destinations and retreats to relax and recharge.

Walking holidays that boost mental and physical health and wildlife holidays that promote well-being are also expected to be popular choices with holidaymakers this year.

Tech-free holidays

We know you're likely tired of hearing about the pandemic. Still, it has largely influenced every aspect of our lives, especially how we travel. Another example is how we work.

During the first lockdown of 2020, many people began working from home, and thanks to digital connectivity, they soon realised that they could, in fact, work from anywhere.

As a result, once governments lifted travel restrictions, we saw a rise in 'workations' - trips that combined work and leisure.

However, in 2022 it seems we're doing a U-turn. The workation trend is likely to die down with people wanting to travel for the exclusive purpose of leisure and switching off their tech.

Travel for Reconnection

It's time to reconnect. In 2022, holidays with extended family and friends are most important. People are ready to jet off with loved ones to make new memories together and reunite with family and friends living in other countries. As a result, travel providers are seeing an increase in larger group bookings featuring multi-generational travellers.

While the pandemic has caused a lot of sadness, if nothing else, it has brought people closer together and made us re-evaluate what's important. Families are reconnecting, with grandparents booking trips with their children and grandchildren to make up for lost time. Plus, 61% of people who travelled last year did so with the sole purpose of seeing family and friends - a much higher percentage than in a 'normal' year.

Tips for travelling in COVID times

So which travel trends of 2022 will you follow? Are you planning a bucket list trip or escaping the 'new normal' with a relaxing weekend in a remote location? Whatever your plans, we hope you have a wonderful time!

We'll finish this off by saying that although consumer confidence is on the rise (which is great), it still pays to plan your trips away carefully. Ensure you read hotel and holiday package policies and remain updated on travel guidance from the UK government and the country you're visiting.

Of course, you can't plan for every eventuality, and that's where we come in. So, if you've booked a non-refundable hotel you can no longer use, sell it on PlansChange. We make it easy to get some of your money back by selling your non-refundable hotel room to a savvy traveller through our marketplace. For more information, check out our selling page.