1. We’re going green.
Ethical, eco-conscious travel is number one on our bucket list this year.
Once a fringe concept, today barely a day goes by without there being conversations shifting towards more sustainable practices. In the age of climate change anxiety, travelling can feel less explorative and more like blatant environmental irresponsibility.
When it comes to high-end experiences, hotels and airlines are finally getting into the environmentally friendly game and addressing how they operate, meaning we can help reduce our carbon footprint and still trot the globe.
With brands like The Arlo Hotel taking guests to New York’s Rockaway Beach for rubbish-clearing days, Outrigger Konotta in the Maldives offering marine biologist-led coral reef conservation workshops, The Ritz-Carlton and Kimpton adding bulk dispensers of premium products to cut waste and airports in Dubai banning all single-use plastic by the end of 2020, green travel is only growing.
Thanks to technology developments in sectors like solar, as well as consumer interest in green, luxury won’t necessarily mean wasteful in 2020.
Outrigger Konotta, Maldives. Photo: Global Escapes.
2. Traveling off-the-beaten-path is the new Mykonos.
As some destinations continue to dominate our Instagram feeds – Positano, I’m looking at you – this year we’re hitting the summer escapes you haven’t heard of (or seen) before.
From less crowds to lower prices, the benefits of checking out places that are a little off the typical path have a lot of benefits. Hidden gems don’t mean you’re giving up Instagram-worthy views, either. Try swapping Santorini for the tiny (tourist-free) Mediterranean island of Naxos. Instead of heading to Taormina in Italy’s south, head to Panarea, one of the small islands scattered off the north-east coast of Sicily with isolated beaches and dramatic landscapes.
Or, cross out Palm Springs on your to-visit list and take a trip to the lush town of Ojai Valley, a mere two-hour drive up the coast from L.A. You’ll get a gorgeous landscape comparable to Palm Springs, sans the Hollywood crowd.
Either way, we’ll be taking the road less travelled in the year ahead.
Ojai Valley, California. Photo: Wander Wisdom.
3. We’re switching off and tuning in (to ourselves).
The reality of work-life balance is being in the office for far too long, weekends lost to deadlines and evenings lost to wine-ing and dining clients, with a permanent feeling of being one cocktail away from burning out.
There’s no time like the present to take yourself off the grid, albeit temporarily, from the incessant emails and demands of everyday life.
This year, we’re investing in the escapes that just might save our sanity: a digital detox.
Think tiny houses in remote locations surrounded by only trees and overlooking lakes, retreats on a tiny island where the day consists only of asanas in the air and hikes through a cluster of wilderness with black spots and no phone reception.
Besides, what’s more luxurious than undisturbed time to yourself?
Coralie Cabin, Southern Highlands, NSW. Photo: Unyoked.