Updated: Jan 4
The rise of the omicron variant may have started this year with a panic, but travelers are planning their 2022 trips with cautious optimism. The current trends show most travelers either booking trips far, far in advance (think 2023) or taking advantage of last-minute opportunities.
With the uncertainty of COVID, where are travelers heading? Read on to see the trends that are emerging as travelers continue to do their best at navigating the world amid COVID.
Camping Across the US
A common theme that I’m seeing is that travelers want to avoid the stress of international travel restrictions and there is still some hesitancy to go abroad. Travel right now is heavily swayed toward domestic locations. With this increase in demand, the prices of domestic properties and experiences are following suit.
The American West is a popular vacation option, with travelers having everything from high-end stays at dude ranches to rustic camping at national parks.
Another theme is that most travelers are looking for opportunities to have everything at their fingertips to reduce the amount of interaction they need to have with others during this pandemic. A word of advice: if you’re planning to visit a national park in 2022, book your accommodations or camping space at least 6 months in advance.
Try Croatia And Iceland Instead Of France And Italy
As always, many American travelers are eager to visit Western Europe. Greece, Croatia, and Iceland were some of the first countries to reopen in 2021 and they will continue to be high priorities for travelers. Another draw of these European destinations is their outdoor appeal (compared to France and England where indoor activities such as museum visits are major selling points).
Locations such as France and Italy are still high priorities for travelers. Given the rampant nature of Omicron, it could be the perfect time to have a more authentic experience and engage with locals versus visiting some of the more touristy destinations that are known for large crowds.
Beaches In Mexico And The Caribbean
With burnout still being a real problem in our culture, one of the most requested vacations continues to be a relaxing trip to a nearby beach. Hawaii, Florida, and Puerto Rico top the list for domestic beaches. Internationally, Mexico is one of the most appealing picks for warm weather escapes free of travel restrictions. There are also the Caribbean nations; Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic are high on travelers’ lists.
Safaris from Rwanda to Dubai
While some travelers are staying close to home, others are splurging on once-in-a-lifetime safaris. For African safaris, eastern countries are attracting the most interest. Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania are getting lots of inquiries and that could be due to those countries’ coronavirus protocols and low case numbers throughout the pandemic.
Desert safaris are attracting visitors to Northern Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Morocco promises cultural experiences in its cities and towns (you all know I love Morocco), plus excursions through the Sahara Desert and the Atlas Mountains. For those that want a luxury desert safari, Dubai is also a destination of choice where travel restrictions are relaxed.
Splurging on the Maldives and Fiji
After years of postponing, newlyweds are finally moving ahead with their honeymoons.
More travelers are willing and ready to travel farther and pay more for trips to bucket-list locations. Island destinations such as the Maldives and Seychelles or Tahiti and Fiji offer couples escapes to private bungalows that guarantee fewer interactions with strangers. Whether splurging is being driven by people seeking more excitement from their vacations after being locked down for a year and a half or whether it’s an accumulation of unspent vacation money, the trend is up on high-spend getaways.
The lesson that all travelers can take into 2022 is that exploring the world is a privilege, not a right. As we continue to navigate all that COVID changes within our world, please remember that mindfulness and respect for the Earth and humanity are a part of this journey.
Hey, I'm Ronda Wright 👋🏽
I’m the founder of The Wright Getaway. I love all things travel and helping other people experience the world.
Let's chat about your upcoming travel plans!