6 mins

The top travel trends for 2020, revealed by Wanderlust's experts

From ditching planes for trains to unusual sleeping arrangements and the latest in 'wellness' and getting back to nature, we reveal the trends set to revolutionise travel in 2020..

Rail travel (Shutterstock)

Travelling by rail

The Shinkansen in Japan (Shutterstock)

The Shinkansen in Japan (Shutterstock)

Conscious of your carbon footprint? In 2020, rail is set to be the new way to travel instead of flying. Not only is it more eco-friendly, but it will allow you to see more of the countries you’re travelling through en route to your final destination.

How to get started? Well, you could try one of our top European rail journeys, South American train adventures or USA rail experiences. Or board a bullet train in Japan to see ancient castles and take part in traditional tea ceremonies. You could even discover the splendour of India aboard a luxury train. 

Gravel riding

Gravel biking (Shutterstock)

Gravel biking (Shutterstock)

If you’re looking to take the path less travelled, gravel riding could be your next adventure. The growing trend originated in the USA in places such as Colorado and Utah, where there are thousands of kilometres of unpaved gravel roads through mountains and forests.

The routes are too uncomfortable with a road bike and not difficult enough for mountain bikes, hence the invention of the gravel bike. While the trend started stateside, there's plenty of remote terrain to uncover from Georgia and Montenegro to Scotland and the ’stans. 

Alternative stays

A tree hotel in Sweden (Shutterstock)

A tree hotel in Sweden (Shutterstock)

It seems travellers are looking for more than just a bed for the night when booking accommodation for their trips. Glass huts, treehouses and floating cabins are set to be top of the list of places to stay in 2020 as they offer an experience, as well as a place to sleep.

Try the Treehotel in Sweden, the glass house in the Gorafe Desert, Spain, or the Arctic Bath hotel in Lapland. There are plenty of treehouses in the UK worth visiting, plus a range of wandersleeps in Moroccoryokans in Japan, and more... 

Forest bathing 

Forest bathing (Shutterstock)

Forest bathing (Shutterstock)

We all know that spending time in the great outdoors is good for your health and wellbeing, but now there’s even a term for it. Shinrin-yoku (or forest bathing), a term coined by the Japanese during the 1980s, involves disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature by spending time in forests.

Popular in both Japan and New Zealand, the trend is now taking off in Europe. If you're not sure where to start, check out our full guide to forest bathing.

Also... is 2020 time to visit Saudi Arabia?

Mada'in Saleh (Shutterstock)

Mada'in Saleh (Shutterstock)

We daresay you’ve heard the news – Saudi Arabia is now welcoming foreigners into the country with new e-visas for travellers on offer. But it hasn’t come without debate. While the country’s human rights record leaves a lot to be desired, it remains ‘safe’ to visit – although like anywhere in the world, you must be respectful, stay alert and check FCO guidelines.

But there are also incredible sights to behold: underwater scenes at Red Sea reefs, the spice markets of former capital Jeddah, the archaeological ruins at Mada’in Saleh, the mountains of Asir, where mist descends over juniper forests in winter and thousands of Hamadryas baboons hang out.

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