a car parked in front of a building

After an entirely unconventional year, new vacation trends are on the horizon for 2021. Because some states and places still have shutdown orders in effect, and it’s not quite clear what will be open where many are opting to travel on the roads this upcoming year. From renting out and buying recreational vehicles to strapping the family in the back of the car Griswold style, Americans and people worldwide have big plans for travel in 2021 that include highways, rest areas, and side trips down dirt roads.

Hitting the Road


If you’ve always wanted to travel the country but haven’t been able to take the time, now might be your best bet. The pandemic has shown us how effective working remotely can be. With some kids learning online and many parents working from home behind the screen, we are now in the habit of making the best of what we have. This could be what’s causing a trend in a change of traditional vacation plans.

Americans are buying RVs, vans, and SUVs in larger numbers than ever before. Low gas prices aren’t hurting this either. So this year, when thinking about your vacation for next, consider joining the country’s most adventurous on road trips. This is a great way to spend time with family and even pets while remaining socially distant too.

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Alternative Holiday Plans


With guidelines suggesting no large family gatherings, many families choose to plan for the holidays next year instead. A Christmas in July celebration might be just the trick to working in these unprecedented times. For that reason, many families are now searching for ideas for Christmas vacation for their immediate families. Often opting to stay local instead of that yearly trip to Disney, couples and families take advantage of what their regions have to offer.

If you weren’t able to hop on a plane and see extended family this year, fear not. There’s still time to plan a winter vacation you’re happy with. After a spike in home renovations, another 2021 trend is for elaborate stay-cations. With decked out backyards, new decks, pools, and safety fences, many people will spend their next vacation making the best of the time and energy they spent turning their homes into sanctuaries. If this is you, make hard rules about not working remotely. This is your vacation time, so use it that way, or you may find yourself wishing you’d hopped on that plane.

Bringing Pets


More and more people are opting for pet-friendly vacations. Leaving the family pet behind at home or even in kennels after the year we’ve had isn’t something everyone is comfortable with. But you can take a vacation this winter with your dog without any problems if you do your research. A quick Google search will show you options from hotels to campgrounds and more. Depending on whether you’re heading east, west, south, or north, you could even consider showing your pet places like the Grand Canyon or exploring one of the country’s many national forests together.

Offline Travel


Whether in the mood for a casino like a site for shore eyes or heading for the beach, one thing you might notice in 2021 is a new trend of offline traveling. Because people have been working remotely and are constantly connected to technology, a growing trend of no cellphone or WIFI usage is now emerging. While people can still take photographs using their phones, they are asked not to post them to emerge themselves more in the present immediately. This trend is catching on quickly. So if you travel publicly or eat in shared spaces, expect to see fewer people on their phones.

All Aboard!


With the younger generation more energy conscious than ever, train travel will see an increase in 2021. Because of the minimized energy footprint, this type of travel leaves, this trend could continue long into the future. Many will choose to travel by train for a week or getting bodyboarding lessons for a month in a busy city.

Transportation isn’t the only upcoming change. Because people are worried about public spaces and germs, more and more are already opting for more private Airbnb accommodations instead of traditional hotels. Cabin rentals, private homes on travel swap boards and more are all things we’ll see for travel trends in the immediate future. But that change may only be temporary. For some, there’s nothing quite like the luxury and service received in a five star hotel or first-class ship.

Before you rule out a cruise or bustling city, there are some Americans dreaming of tropical places and crowded social spaces. We’ll see trends in these areas too. People are currently booking vacations to once-popular spots as long as those destinations are flexible about their return policies. After a year of being cooped up, many people are itching to see life and their normal routines, including vacations, return. But this time, a key factor they will consider is safety, something that is newer. For this reason, travelers are paying closer than never attention to worldwide news.

For those who aren’t quite sure just yet, travel agents and those in the travel industry report that another trend to expect is shorter booking periods. That is, people hoping to travel may wait until what would once have been considered last minute before finalizing their plans. With many sitting on the airline, hotel, and other travel credits from cancelled trips in 2020, it won’t be a surprise to see a surge of trips and travels next summer and fall. While spring travel could stick closer to home with 2020’s trends, many people say they look forward to traveling the way they once did.

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