It’s probably fair to say 2020 was not the year we thought it would be. Home schooling became a reality, we turned into full-scale bakers of sourdough bread and jigsaws got a new lease of life.
One thing that didn’t change was our desire to travel. We’ve spent hours, nay weeks, looking at holiday destinations and making ourselves a promise… as soon as we can, we’re off. That four-week island holiday is no longer looking like a pipe dream; hours lazing by a sun-warmed pool is a must. Our fingers are twitching over the Book Now button…
CLC World’s travel experts have compiled their top travel trends and best destinations 2021. If you’re still not sure what type of holiday you want or where, let us inspire you.
One thing we’ve (re)learned in 2020 is that our own country has spectacular places to visit, explore and stay. Beautiful beaches – many of them empty if you avoid the tourist hotspots – incredible scenery, local cuisine and sometimes a different language.
Having sampled local wonders, many are choosing to keep exploring their home country for the next year at least. In the UK, there is such a diverse landscape – culturally and naturally – you’re spoiled for choice.
Where: CLC World’s resorts – Trenython Manor in Cornwall and Duchally Country Estate in Perthshire, Scotland sit in acres of their own land in sought after holiday destinations. Both offer hotel or lodge accommodation, making it suitable for couples, families or solo travellers.
Alternative: CLC World Club Resorts are dotted across the UK – from Wales to County Durham, Gloucestershire to Surrey. Or you could take to the water on a Canaltime barge and explore the country’s waterways. Did you know Birmingham has more miles of canals than Venice?
This has been a growing trend over recent years but with 2020 making Work From Anywhere (WFA) a reality for many, it is a trend that is only going to grow. As long as you have a good internet connection and the time zone you choose to work from more-or-less matches with your company or customers, there’s no reason not to.
A great reason for WFA is the chance to explore a new town or country during non-work hours. As soon as you log off, you can dive into the culture. Now’s the time to see the world whilst working.
Where: For UK travellers, Tenerife or the Costa del Sol will make Britain’s dull winter months but a distant memory. Look out for offers such as 4 weeks for the price of 1, and make a corner of Spain your own. Close enough to home for friends and relatives to join you for the odd weekend.
Alternative: Choose another part of your home country as a temporary base. If you’re normally some distance from friends and family, this is a great chance to reconnect and explore.
Slow travel has been a popular choice for gap-year students for a few decades, but it’s taking hold for all generations now. Professionals on career sabbaticals, time-rich retirees and the year-out students are booking longer, slower trips.
This means taking time in each place, holiday home rentals rather than hotels, and immersion in the culture often with curated guided tours that go beyond the usual tourist routes. It also ticks the eco box as longer stays equal more sustainable travel.
Where: Slovenia, tucked between Italy and Croatia, has often been overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbours. Its beauty lies in snow-capped peaks, mirrored lakes, picturesque castles and pristine air. It’s a haven for foodies and is European Region of Gastronomy for 2021. Take your time exploring this petite country, it’s worth it.
Alternative: Head south from Slovenia to Albania, another barely touched country with oodles on offer. Gorgeous beaches, stunning scenery and a dynamic capital city are just three reasons to visit.
Pop Culture Travel
Film and TV series locations have grown in popularity as holiday destinations, thanks in part to series such as Game of Thrones which saw people flocking to Dubrovnik and even the tiny Scottish village of St Abbs.
In 2021 pop culture inspired travel looks set to be bigger than ever, with diverse destinations.
Where: We’re going to stick with Game of Thrones and head to Spain – not just the famous cities of Seville, Cordoba and Granada but the lesser known areas which featured heavily in the series. Plan a tour of the country with GoT locations as your guide.
Alternative: The Netflix series Chernobyl had millions glued to their screens. Many fans are now heading to the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster and the ghost village of Pripyat.
Nature & Wildlife
Having spent far too much of this year cooped up indoors, 2021 is the time for nature holidays. Out in the fresh air, exploring the great outdoors, discovering wildlife (on their terms) and being far more aware of green issues associated with travel. From safaris to hiking and sailing, it’s time to step into the great wide-open.
Where: Kenya is the definition of wide-open. A classic for safaris, it has stylish hotels, beautiful landscapes and of course the wondrous wildlife. However, Kenya holidays aren’t just safaris. The Indian Ocean coast with brilliant-white beaches, teeming coral reefs and the Swahili culture is pure paradise.
Alternative: For a European destination, Austria is hard to beat for gorgeous scenery and locations for outdoor activities. Summer lidos on clear lakes, mountains carpeted with rich grass and meadow flowers and of course all the winter sports associated with the Alps.
Soaking up the local culture from historical to gastronomical is a key travel trend for 2021, with old favourite Italy almost certainly on people’s lists. While Italy is bursting at the seams with culture, other ancient civilisations are worth considering, especially as you could tack a beach break at either end, to allow you to absorb your new found knowledge.
Where: Egypt, home to the last of the original Seven Wonders of the World, is the perfect destination for cultural immersion, history and beautiful beaches. Take a trip down the Nile, witness the bustle of Cairo and soak up the rays on a gorgeous beach at Sharm El Sheikh. Giant pyramids, iconic cities and mile-upon-mile of beaches – holidays to Egypt are a world apart.
Alternative: The Turkish Riviera is home to stylish towns cosying up to pristine beaches lapped by the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. With the historical site of Ephesus ticking the historical box and Hammams, coffee shops and bazaars pleasing the cultural side, Turkey has it covered. Kusadasi Golf & Spa could be your home-from-home when exploring this incredible country.
Once in a Lifetime Trips
Carpe Diem (seize the day) has become a mantra for many as they plan ‘life after Covid’. Now is the time to take that once in a lifetime trip, with personalised tours, private guides and a substantial itinerary. Australia and New Zealand are great destinations for those in the northern hemisphere, with plenty of amazing stopover points en-route; but this is your dream trip we’re here to inspire.
Where: If you’re heading to Australasia, then make sure you add Tasmania and Lord Howe Island to the list. Tasmania is an explorer’s paradise with miles of windswept coastline, diverse wildlife and an urban scene bursting with culture. Lord Howe, a tiny island in the Tasman Sea, was human-free until the 18th century. Apply to be one of only 400 visitors permitted at any one time, helping protect one of Earth’s most isolated ecosystems, which includes a big-as-your-hand stick insect known as the “walking sausage.”
Alternative: The Maldives have some incredible, luxury hotels and are the ultimate for seclusion making them a holiday of a lifetime. Crystal-clear water and sugar-white beaches whisper tropical paradise. If you enjoy scuba diving, the coral reefs are teeming with wildlife. Truly a five-star luxury trip.
Once the height of luxury, train travel is set to regain its position as the sophisticated mode of travel. Trains have something different, they allow the journey to be an important part of the holiday – it’s more than the destination. From planning your route around a country to taking one of the world’s luxury train journeys, it’s different and exciting.
Where: Italy has to be on a destination list somewhere. Take your time exploring Italy by train, from top to toe. From Venice to Naples, via Bologna, Florence, Rome and Sorrento is one possible route with some of the country’s most sublime sights part of your journey. Travel independently or on an escorted tour.
Alternative: Eastern Europe is a treasure trove of history, myth and fantastic architecture. Build your own itinerary, with a few days at each destination before heading off on a new adventure. Cities such as Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Brasov, Split and Ljubljana are waiting to welcome you.
Bubble or Pod Travel
Pod travel had been trending globally among younger travellers before 2020 and the trend is expected to expand across generations in 2021. Pod or Bubble travel is where people choose to travel together as a family or a close knit group of friends reducing the need for, and therefore risk associated with, socialising with others. That’s where spacious, self-catering accommodation comes to the fore.
Where: Florida is a family favourite every year and lends itself to bubble travel, especially if you stay in accommodation like CLC Regal Oaks – close to Disney, in a resort setting and with roomy, homely accommodation.
Alternative: It’s not so much the destination as the accommodation that’s the key. Anywhere in the world where you can enjoy your type of holiday – experience the local culture, sunbathe under warm skies or take part in an adventurous activity – and have your own group with you in safe accommodation.
Family and Familiar
Staying close to family and friends is going to be big in 2021. Many have not had a chance to connect in 2020, so are looking to spend time close to loved ones and holidaying at the same time. Similarly, people will be returning to places they know and trust, that is familiar and has that home-from-home feeling.
Where: For many CLC World resorts are their second home to which they return at least once a year, every year. With spacious apartments, lodges and townhouses at our resorts you know you’ll receive a warm welcome in a safe environment.
Alternative: Wherever your family and friends may be. That could mean tying in a once in lifetime trip to see an aunt in Adelaide or taking domestic holidays to be close to your nearest and dearest.