The 6 Top Travel Trends on Travelzoo's Radar This Fall
Fall is here and temperatures are dropping — which means if you’re like most Canadians, you’re already fantasizing about a fall or winter getaway, or maybe even planning a bucket-list trip for 2021.
Of course, the travel landscape looks different this year, and it’s important to plan accordingly. To help, Travelzoo’s Deal Experts have compiled our top six travel trends and tips for Canadians for the months ahead.
Trend #1: Travelling with Confidence
Safety is on every traveller’s mind these days — and it’s also key for the tourism industry, which has devoted immeasurable time and money to improving procedures so people can feel confident about travelling again.
Many hotels, resorts, airlines and airports have introduced new, more stringent sanitation procedures and taken extra measures to help with social distancing. KLM is a great partner of ours at Travelzoo — and a great example. Throughout the initial coronavirus crisis, they never stopped flying to Canada; in fact, they were the only European airline to maintain flights to Toronto, providing people with a link to attend to family emergencies, fulfill their professional or humanitarian duties or move essential cargo. Like most airlines, they require passengers and cabin crew to wear face masks throughout their entire flight and have adjusted in-flight catering procedures to further limit contact between crew members and passengers. All KLM aircraft are also equipped with HEPA filters that capture 99.99% of viruses and bacteria; this is, of course, in addition to their planes being thoroughly cleaned between every flight.
Travelzoo Tip: Bring several masks; some airlines require you to change your PPE after a certain flight duration. Pack some mints and hard candies, too; fresh breath makes mask-wearing infinitely more palatable!
Trend #2 : Wide-Open Spaces
Opportunities to explore the great outdoors will be more popular than ever this fall and winter. It’s easier to carry out social distancing when you steer clear of big cities and large crowds — and when it comes to ventilation, it’s hard to beat a crisp autumn breeze or the rush of wind as you race down a ski slope.
Just as important, many Canadians are looking for opportunities to get outside and reconnect with nature after weeks or months of being confined to their homes. At Travelzoo, we have seen a rise in wilderness travel — such as RV rentals and camping excursions -- as well as more upscale “isolation holidays” such as private cabins or villa rentals.
Travelzoo Tip: Check out Travelzoo's Fall Harvest Collection for our best Canadian getaway deals.
Trend #3: Flexibility First
One of the biggest shifts we’ve seen in the travel industry — a trend we know will continue into 2021 — is that flexible booking policies are now becoming the rule, rather than the exception. Flexible policies help travellers book with confidence and give them the freedom to change their mind if circumstances demand.
I’ll use KLM as an example here again, because they’ve adapted their policies to remove change fees and allow refunds. If you booked a flight to Europe for a winter break, but decided it wasn’t a good time to go away after all, you could rebook your flight for spring break or even the summer of 2021 at no extra cost, as long as you choose a date that had the same fare type available. And if your ticket is for travel before March 31st, 2021, in addition of the choice to travel at a later date, you can also receive a refund. Regardless of your travel dates KLM now offers changes to your flight dates at no cost.
Travelzoo Tip: KLM and select other airlines offer flexibility with every fare type, but some airlines restrict flexibility to certain fares, so know before you book. It is often worth looking into the standard fares that offer refund options under any circumstances as well as more generous bag allowance policies.
Trend #4: Workcations
With work from home becoming the new norm, Canadians are no longer tied to one location and the desire to work from idyllic destinations is certainly tempting. (In my house, that’s Rome, where my husband is keen to settle in for a few weeks of pasta and wine along with our day jobs.) We are seeing more extended stays, or “workcations,” as it's now possible to login from almost anywhere. Estonia is among the countries making a bid for these travellers; the northeastern European country is offering 12-month visas to “digital nomads.”
Travelzoo Tip: Make sure your health insurance will cover an extended trip; the Government of Canada website has a useful travel insurance primer outlining all the factors to consider before you go.
Trend #5: Designed for Distance
Once you’ve figured out where you want to go, the next question is what activities are still open for business. The good news is, there’s often more to enjoy than you might think, since many popular attractions and experiences have been expertly adapted for social distancing. In Toronto, the Immersive Van Gogh experience was adapted for both drivers and socially distanced visitors; drive-in concerts, stand-up shows and sports viewing parties abound, and some experiences promise to be even more interesting than their original iterations. (See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre without a crowd!) At Travelzoo we expect to see more innovative social distancing practices put in place as destinations find ways to safely reopen and begin welcoming guests back.
Travelzoo Tip: Book attractions, transportation, restaurants and even gym or pool times at your hotel well in advance to avoid disappointment and ensure you make the most of your time away.
Trend #6: Responsible Travel
At Travelzoo, we're seeing a growing trend for more sustainable and conscious travels. Travellers are hitting the reset button on mass travel, travelling to more eco-friendly destinations and selecting accommodations that prioritize sustainability. There's more consciousness around the carbon burden of flying, and a commensurate interest among consumers in buying carbon offsets. Another option is choosing an airline like KLM that invests in sustainable aviation fuel that saves more than 85% in carbon emissions.
Travelzoo Tip: Interested in the future of greener flight technology? Learn more about the Flying V, a new, more efficient aircraft design.
As these trends suggest, the travel industry is as keen to welcome back visitors as we all are to start travelling again. Whether you’re planning to stay close to home or to venture across the globe, you can take these simple steps to ensure your trip is safe, affordable and memorable for all the right reasons. Bon voyage!
For more information, visit KLM.
Note: When planning your trip, we recommend you check your local public health guidelines and call ahead before booking attractions and experiences as they may be operating on adjusted schedules that are subject to change.