Why We Travel

Why we travel changes with the seasons and now a new survey from Skyscanner shows how you traveler’s goals are changing again. Gone are trips just for Instagram or fast jaunts just to know something off of a bucket list. Now people want to travel for the value travel and new experiences bring.

Skyscanner provided this insight into the trends transforming travel in 2020 through its new 2020 Travel Trends Report. Pulling data from more than 100 million monthly users, Skyscanner found that 2020 will be the year of slowing down, savoring new foods and traveling sustainably.

In 2019, slow travel was the most popular trip type (27.4 percent), with travelers choosing to forego the jam-packed itinerary for a more relaxed vacation. Micro escapes were the next most popular form of travel, with 24.6 percent of individuals preferring short trips to weeks-long getaways. Skyscanner also found that 21 percent of travelers were part of a new and fast-growing category of individuals seeking a joy of missing out, or “JOMO” vacation, which is focused on exploring destinations with fewer tourists.

When the same respondents were asked about the types of trips they were likely to take in 2020, slow travel remained on top (25.4 percent), followed by JOMO vacations (23.5 percent) and micro escapes (15.7 percent).

Highlights for 2020 also include travelers indicating a preference for more sustainable travel, with 9.7 percent of individuals interested in eco-friendly trips.

Here’s an in-depth look at popular travel trends identified by Skyscanner in 2020:

JOMO Trips
These travelers are less worried about snapping the perfect picture and more focused on enjoying the moment. Instead of popular locations and Instagram-worthy moments, these travelers are focused on finding remote locales away from the hustle and bustle.

Local Gastronomy
The quickest way to get to know a place and bond with locals is through food. Before traveling to a destination, this traveler does research ahead of time, and once at the destination, they connect with locals for authentic—and delicious— experiences.

Micro Escapes
Short, quick, achievable breaks for those that say they’re too busy. It’s about peppering short trips throughout the year to take a breather without having to sacrifice family time or work commitments.

Slow Travel
While many travelers feel the need to do as much as they can to explore a destination in 2020, some are starting to prioritize quality over quantity. Slow travel emphasizes the need to connect with a destination, your travel companions and a more leisurely way of living.

Sustainable Tourism
With growth from 5.8 percent in 2019 to 9.7 percent in 2020, there’s no question this type of experience is the future of travel. This traveler is someone who lets their choices make a positive environmental impact. They support local establishments, uphold their own green practices and are spearheading a new wave of modern travel.

Transformative Journeys
Travel truly has the power to change individuals in so many ways, and no one understands this more than travelers who opt for transformative journeys. This type of traveler cares about getting to know a place and sees travel as a chance to understand themselves better. Transformative journeys include personal wellness trips and volunteering opportunities that provide meaningful experiences, among others.

Why we want to travel will define where you travel and what you do when you arrive.

Taking into account these travel categories and motivators for searching and booking travel, Skyscanner analyzed its data to identify the most popular destinations and top emerging destinations for travelers in 2020.

Most Popular Destinations Change in Rank From Prior
1. London, England +1
2. New York, New York -1
3. Las Vegas, Nevada +1
4. Paris, France +1
5. Los Angeles, California -2
6. Orlando Florida +1
7. Denver, Colorado +1
8. Manila, Philippines +3
9. Bangkok, Thailand 0
10. Chicago, Illinois -4
Top Emerging Destinations Year-Over-Year Growth in
Travel Trend Type
1. Asheville, North Carolina 75% Local Gastronomy
2. Accra, Ghana 60% Transformative Journey
3. Madrid, Spain 42% Slow Travel
4. San Juan, Puerto Rico 40% Micro Escape
5. Marrakech, Morocco 40% JOMO
6. São Paulo, Brazil 34% Local Gastronomy
7. Tokyo, Japan 27% Slow Travel
8. Buenos Aires, Argentina 25% Local Gastronomy
9. Panama City, Panama 23% Sustainable Tourism