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After an unpredictable year like 2020, it’s hard to predict what the future of travel looks like. So, we made it easy by rounding up travel trends and predictions for 2021 using Pinterest Predicts’ not-yet-trending report for 2021, Forbes’ 3-part series, The Essential Travel Forecast Report 2021 and a few other trusted sources. One thing is for sure though: staycations are still #trending for 2021.

1. Staycations are here to stay

Booking.com’s Future of Travel report for 2021 says “local travel remains easier, safer and – happily – often more sustainable.” Their ”Familiarists not Tourists” prediction shows 47% of travelers are planning domestic trips over the next 7-12 months. For local travelers, 43% plan on exploring new places within their home country or region and local or not, 50% of travelers plan on traveling to places they’ve previously visited due to their familiarity. Here are a few cities that made The Best U.S. Cities for a Staycation in 2020 list from Travel Pulse:

  • Orlando, FL
  • Austin, TX
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Boise, ID

2. Buckle up for more road trips

Rather than travelling by rail or air until the vaccine is available for all, hitting the road and driving for miles on end seems to be the go-to method of transportation. After all, being in your own vehicle provides the most authentic and safe way to practice social distancing in this viral age, while still traveling domestically. According to Pinterest, “parking space is the new personal space.” From car date nights like drive-in cinemas and on-the-go sunset picnics to designated man caves and making the car more hospitable for furry friends, everyone will want to be along for the ride. Globetrender’s Future of Luxury Travel Forecast: 2020-2025 also predicts ”super-charged road trips” are making good speed across all demographics.

3. Work remote like a true digital nomad

2021 is your chance to take working remote to the next level by upgrading your WFH experience to WFP – work from paradise. Remember when Hawaii launched their “Movers & Shakas” program? Countries like the Maldives, Mauritius, Bermuda and Barbados followed along by recently offering year-long visas or “work well” packages for digital nomads. Laptop-centric professionals can unite for productivity bootcamps in tropical destinations like Tulum with co-working retreats from Ethos Remote Habitat, Remote Year or Roam.

4. Prioritize wellness by embracing nature

While we all can’t surprise our closest inner circle with a trip to a private island in the French Polynesia, we know that social distancing and exploring the outdoors play an important role in our wellbeing now more than ever. Naturally, exploring America’s national parks (especially on free days in 2021), visiting renowned beach destinations or participating in wellness retreats are the next best thing for connecting with ourselves and nature. Plus, it’s easy to practice social distancing and find peace of mind when visiting these destinations in the Mexican Caribbean surrounded by nothing but the sea or sand. “Taking a wellness holiday has been shown to lower stress levels, improve resilience, boost immunity and improve our mental and physical health,” said Paul Joseph, founder of Health and Fitness Travel, in part one of Forbes’ Essential Travel Forecast Report for 2021.

5. Book with confidence and flexibility

COVID-19 guidelines seemingly change daily so the best way for travelers to book with confidence is by providing full flexibility and no-fee change policies. What a relief! This goes for hotels, vacation suppliers and airlines! For example, United, American and Delta Air Lines flexed their flexibility by dropping domestic and international change fees. ALG Vacations also eliminated cancellation and change fees on land-only bookings in a major policy update.

What are you most looking forward to in the world of travel in 2021? Tell us in the comments below.

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