Lifestyle Guides

Travel trends for 2020

Interested in booking a different kind of holiday this year? Let Pinterest’s travel trends predictions for the year ahead inspire you.


Every year Pinterest puts together its predictions for the year ahead based on what people are searching for through its platform. We’ve looked at the top travel trends to see what might be big during 2020.

Many of last year’s travel trends had an environmental theme, and this is continuing into 2020. 

To recap, here are the top 10 trends of 2019:

  1. Bus travel
  2. Hot springs
  3. Derelict castles
  4. Less-travelled islands (And if you like a trip with a difference, take a look at our guide to alternative holiday destinations for 2020)
  5. Bicycle tours
  6. Surprise destinations
  7. Small towns
  8. Zero waste travel
  9. Autumn getaways
  10. Rio de Janeiro

Now let’s take a look at what Pinterest thinks will be big in travel throughout 2020.

1. Eco-friendly travel

Perhaps unsurprisingly given how prominent environmental issues are in the media at the moment, Pinterest searches for eco-friendly travel are up 73%.

On a similar theme, more people are looking for tips to reduce their carbon footprint – as you may know, flying isn’t the most eco-friendly way to head off on holiday. Searches for this topic are up 86%.

Take a look at our greener travel tips for more on this. 

2. Train travel

Following on nicely from the above is the second term that’s seen a big increase in Pinterest searches: train travel. Searches for this are up 107%, quite possibly among the same people who are searching for more eco-friendly ways to travel. 

It’s well known that public transport – train travel in particular – is better for the environment than jetting off on holiday.

In Europe, for example, the trains are reliable and tend to run on time (which – let’s be honest – is a bit of a novelty for anyone used to British trains) and there are many scenic trips you can take for an eco-conscious holiday with a difference.

3. Staycations

Maybe you don’t want to go abroad at all – maybe you’d rather stay in the UK? If so, you’re not alone, with searches for ‘weekend staycation’ up 38%.

Whether it’s concern for the toll long-distance trips take on the environment or the uncertainty around Brexit driving your decision, check out our guide to the best staycation destinations in the UK for inspiration.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find you don’t even have to go that far from home to feel like you’re on holiday.

4. Eco-friendly cities

People aren’t only searching for eco-friendly travel methods, but they want to spend their down-time in an eco-friendly city too – and to prove it, searches for the term ‘eco city concept’ are up 47%.

Great examples of eco-friendly cities include:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Reykjavik, Iceland

Bali also has a lot to offer, with its Green School giving tourists the chance to take sustainability classes and go on ‘trash walks’.

5. Eco-structures

What better way to spend the night in an eco-city than staying in eco-friendly accommodation? That certainly seems to be on many people’s minds, with searches for ‘ecotourism architecture’ up 31%.

And with more and more eco-friendly options available, it’s getting easier for people to get away with a clear conscience. The more unusual the better – think treehouses, ecolodges, biodomes, and ecohotels.

6. Zero waste travel essentials

Following on from last year’s trend of zero waste travel (which was up 74%), the search term ‘zero waste travel essentials’ is up 48%.

Not only are travellers looking for companies and travel products that sit well with their principles, but they also want tips for being as environmentally friendly as possible.

Even if you’re used to living a zero-waste lifestyle, or at least trying your best to do so when at home, it can be especially challenging on the road. There are plenty of tips available, though. For example, you can:

  • Go paperless: don’t print tickets or documents unless you have to, and refuse paper receipts where possible
  • Pack reusable items: Take a reusable water bottle, straw, and even cutlery. Take a shopping bag to avoid needing plastic bags
  • Try zero waste toiletries: solid shampoo bars and soap are zero waste and cause no issues passing through airport security

7. Northern Lights

The great outdoors also appeared prominently throughout Pinterest’s search trends for 2020 and what could be better than getting out into the middle of nowhere to try and catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights?

For the best chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis, head to northern Europe, to countries such as Norway, Sweden or Iceland. If you’re off to Iceland, this is a good opportunity to drive the Ring Road, one of the best road trips in Europe.

For many people, this is a real bucket list travel experience and searches for ‘Aurora Borealis Northern Lights’ are up 90%.

Don’t forget travel insurance…

Don’t ruin the trip of a lifetime by not being covered – remember to take out travel insurance so you don’t end up out of pocket should the worst happen.