We’re all happy to say that hindsight really is 2020; putting that entire crazy year in the rear view mirror and looking forward to something bigger and brighter for 2021. Travel blogging has been tricky over the last 12 months, with travel restrictions and the global pandemic throwing a wrench into even the most carefully laid plans. But we made it through and now, we can start planning for all the exciting things that 2021 and 2022 hopefully will bring. For those of us who blog or follow blogs, lets hold on to that new years excitement and look at some of the top trends in travel blogging.
Fewer Groups, More Independent Travel
Before 2020, group travel was one of the most cost-effective ways to see the world. Split the cost with a group of friends — or a group of strangers that will later become friends — and travel together. This popular trend is all but dead as of the first quarter of 2021, as the people who are still traveling are choosing to do so alone because it makes it easier to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This trend may continue through 2021 with fully independent travelers (FIT) taking advantage of people staying home to explore the world largely uninterrupted. This trend is an important one to highlight for travel bloggers, especially those that might have focused solely on group travel in the past, to allow them to adapt and change with the times. FIT travel helps you maintain your COVID-bubble while still allowing you to explore the world.
Vaxcations and Reunion Travel
2020 was supposed to be an amazing year with people from around the globe ringing in the new decade with travel and fun — a new roaring ’20s, as it were. Unfortunately, a global pandemic threw a viral wrench into those cogs and left us all baking banana bread and trying to figure out how to run a marathon on our balcony. Now that the first doses of various COVID-19 vaccines are starting to circulate, there are two forms of travel that are going to start taking off — vaxcations and reunion travel.
The first — vaxcations — will probably start becoming a lot more popular in the second quarter of the year, as people get both doses of their vaccine and travel restrictions start to lift. People are just itching to travel and as soon as they’re cleared to do so, many people are planning to do just that. There’s even already a vaxcation hashtag (#vaxcation)on Twitter! The second — reunion travel — will likely start occurring around the same time, as it becomes safe for people to start visiting the friends and family members that they haven’t seen for the better part of a year due to the pandemic. Both of these will likely become hot topics in the second quarter of 2021 and will continue to remain popular likely for the rest of the year, at the very least.
The Need for Visual Content
In the beginning, travel blogging was just that — blogging. Long text posts interspersed with the best photos you could take of your destinations and the things you enjoyed there were the way to build a travel blogging empire. Unfortunately, over the intervening years, the internet has changed and people are more likely to click off of a long text post than actually bother reading it. Yes, we realize the irony of writing this in a long text post, but it helps to reinforce the need for visual media when you’re looking at blog trends.
Short video clips and disappearing messages, such as those found in apps like Snapchat or Facebook and Instagram Stories and Reels, have taken the hot seat in 2020. Videos and short video clips are more likely to engage a user than a lengthy text post. It’s easier to catch the attention and engage meaningfully with your audience through a 1-minute TikTok than it is through a 1,000-word post, no matter how pretty your pictures are.
Changing or Vanishing Travel Hot Spots
Before 2020, traveling to a popular destination anywhere in the world often meant spending large stretches of time rubbing elbows in crowded airports, marketplaces, tourist attractions, and even hotel lobbies. Today, everyone is trying their very best to stay six feet apart and that changes the way we experience the places we’re visiting. The hustle and bustle of crowded city streets are getting traded in for socially distanced travel destinations.
Everything from transportation to accommodation will need to change with the times in order to stay relevant while keeping travelers safe. Locations that can’t or don’t want to change risk getting left behind and forgotten.
Travel bloggers trying to stay on top of 2021’s blog trends will need to do their best to keep abreast of these changes. Offering incorrect information about a destination that used to be a hot spot but isn’t anymore is a fast way to lose a good portion of your audience.
Travel Experts are More Important than Ever
The travel and hospitality landscape has changed dramatically in the past few years. Travel bloggers and experts are going to be more important than ever as things start to return to normal and countries open their doors to travelers once again. Stay on top of these new trends in travel blogging, both for your blog and for your own travels.
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