Carving out more family time and fulfilling your Wanderlist come up big in our annual travel forecast.

Multigenerational vacations, lesser-touristed locales, and local flavor will all star on the 2020 travel stage, according to the newly released Virtuoso Luxe Report. The annual survey tapped the industry expertise of 1,300 Virtuoso travel advisors across the globe to forecast top travel destinations and trends for the coming year.

Top Travel Trends
1. Multigenerational travel
2. Authenticity
3. Active or adventure trips
4. Family travel (immediate family)
5. Celebration travel

High adventure: Exploring Antarctica by kayak and Zodiac with Lindblad Expeditions. (Ralph Lee Hopkins)

Top Travel Motivations
1. Celebrating a milestone
2. Excitement of discovering new destinations
3. Spending time with loved ones
4. Rest and relaxation
5. Fulfilling your Wanderlist

Some serious R&R at Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives. (Charlotte Latella)


Untouristed and Unexpected Destinations: With some favorite destinations seeing an untenable rise in demand, the well-traveled luxury set is seeking remote, unspoiled destinations to avoid crowds at over-touristed locales. Virtuoso advisors report a rise in requests for places ranging from the culturally distinct to those steeped in nature, including Borneo, Greenland, and Oman.

Local color in unexpected Greenland. (Olga_Gavrilova/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Country Coupling: Trips that mix multiple countries, even during shorter journeys, are trending, especially ones with surprising combinations. Travelers may pair a ski adventure with a beach finale, a city stay with a jungle adventure, or a well-traveled place followed by a little-known spot to mingle with locals. The focus is on varied experiences that enrich the trip with each stop.

Tasty Travels: Culinary travel has transcended “trend” to become its own niche, with amazing food and drink now considered essential to any trip. Cooking classes, dining in private homes, Michelin-starred restaurants, farm-to-table meals, truffle hunting, and other experiences allow foodies to go beyond just having a seat at the table. Dining has become such a focus that some travelers are requesting restaurant reservations at the same time they book their flights – sometimes even before.

Mise en place at Mimo San Sebastián, a cooking school housed in Spain’s Hotel Maria Cristina.

Group Getaways: Gen X-ers, boomers, and older adults are traveling to bond with friends and others who share their passions or are at the same life stage. Women’s travel is on the rise as well, including soft-adventure trips and affluent girl getaways to unplug, relax, and play. Groups of couples are also traveling together, including buddymoons, where newlyweds bring pals along for the fun.

EQ Encounters: Today’s traveler is seeking more profound experiences leading to increased emotional intelligence. Rather than ticking off attractions, Virtuoso clients are instead opting to tap into their passions, such as a tasting with the owner of a local winery, a motorcycle tour, or a personal shopper to guide them through the latest pop-up stores. They also want accommodations that reflect the destination – inns full of character, small neighborhood hotels, and private homes.

Cheers to that: Margerum Wine Company’s tasting room, a must-visit on Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail.

Enjoying the Journey: Embracing the philosophy that the journey is half the fun, upscale travelers are using exclusive services including meet-and-greets planeside to avoid the stress of changing terminals, locating gates, or waiting in customs lines. Consider the Private Suite at Los Angeles International Airport, which offers a members-only terminal where travelers are escorted through TSA screenings, driven to and from aircraft in BMWs, and provided a room to relax in between flights.

Top photo: The multigenerational family that travels together… (Jack Hollingsworth/DigitalVision/Getty Images)