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Fasten your seatbelts! 7 exciting predictions for the return of travel in 2022

Booking.com has released its Travel Predictions report for 2022, highlighting what Aussies can expect when it comes to exploring our country and beyond. And, spoiler alert, it looks like the travel spark is well and truly ablaze.

Booking.com has released its Travel Predictions report for 2022, highlighting what Aussies can expect when it comes to exploring our country and beyond. And, spoiler alert, it looks like the travel spark is well and truly ablaze.

Australian travellers are set to be making up for lost time and looking for plenty of opportunities for reconnection travel in 2022.

Whether it be for self-care, supporting their community or wanting to meet new people, Aussies are ready to start making new travel memories by just saying yes and embracing the unpredictable. 

So, to look into the deets, Booking.com has commissioned research with more than 24,000 travellers across 31 countries and territories, including more than 1,000 Australians to predict how travel will continue to be redefined in the year ahead. 

Let’s check out 7 travel trends we can get excited about:

1. Vitamin vacay

A group of young men eating and enjoying pizza at a music festival.

More so than daily exercise or mindful meditation, getting away on holiday will become THE form of self-care in 2022, with over three-quarters of people (82%) affirming that travel helps their mental and emotional wellbeing more than other forms of rest and relaxation.

After more than a year of ever-evolving travel restrictions, the important benefits that travel has on health and wellbeing are now being acknowledged, with over two thirds (72%) saying they didn’t realise how important travel was to their wellbeing until it was no longer an option, and 87% saying that having a holiday planned has a positive impact on their emotional wellbeing.

2. Resetting the out of (home) office

When the pandemic hit, homes across the globe became our offices too, and the novelty of working remotely was realised.

However, in 2022 Booking.com says we will see a significant rise in people wanting to take back control in a bid to firmly re-establish a healthy work-life balance as holiday time itself will be strictly work-free for three-quarters of Australian travellers (76%) in 2022, which wasn’t always the case in 2021 with home and remote work lives blurred.

3. Those first-time feels

Flight Centre
Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia

After feeling ‘stuck’ for so long, rather than rushing through the journey, Australian travellers will be relishing every moment, from fine-tuning the playlist for the rental car to browsing the delicacies duty-free has to offer, with a fifth (21%) most looking forward to the pure excitement and anticipation as the journey begins.

Each ‘first’ of our trips in 2022 will be a moment to savour, with a majority of Australian travellers saying that simple pleasures such as feeling the sun on their skin (85%) or seeing a body of water of some kind instantly improves their mood for the better (84%). 

Nature is medicine, right?

4. Community connection

New Zealand Cook Islands
Cook Islands

In 2022, this desire to connect authentically with the local community will continue on holidays too, as we seek to be more mindful about every trip we take and ensure our impact on the places we visit and the people who live there is positive.

Over half (61%) of people agree it’s important that their trip is beneficial to the local community at their destination and 52% would appreciate an app or website that provides recommendations on destinations where an increase in tourism would have a positive impact on the local community.

The #TraveltoChangetheWorld movement is real.

5. New places and faces please

India

For many, the pandemic meant spending an extended and intense period with our closest friends and loved ones, but holidays in 2022 will be an opportunity to branch out and make some new connections.

Over half (55%) want to meet new people while away, we expect to see Australian travellers using their holidays as an opportunity to expand their usual social circles, with 66% of Australian travellers looking forward to socializing while on holiday and 40% wanting to stay somewhere close to plenty of nightlife options so that they can meet new people. 

Booking.com also predicts a resurgence of holiday romances, with one in four (41%) Aussie travellers hoping for love to strike on their next trip. But the romance doesn’t have to stop at the end of the trip – thanks to technology we may see more than a few of these holiday romances turn into the real deal. 
 

6. Just say yes

Surfing? YES!

After so long of being told “no” Australian travellers are reclaiming a more positive way of thinking for 2022.

In fact, 70% will be shirking all the structure they’ve been contending with, preferring a holiday where they stay flexible and just go with the flow vs. having a well-planned itinerary full of activities.

The coming year will bring the very best of improv to travel, with us responding to each unexpected twist and turn in the trip with an emphatic “yes!”
 

7 Embracing the unpredictable

Uncertainty will continue to be a constant in travel in 2022, and while we cannot change or predict every new surprise and challenge that fate has in store for us, we are all getting pretty good at embracing it.

Having leaned on technology in a variety of ways to stay connected and inspired over the past year and a half, our favourite apps will continue to help us navigate the unknown on our trips, with two-thirds (62%) agreeing that technology helps alleviate the anxiety around travelling.

Click here for a deeper dive into Booking.com’s travel predictions for 2022.