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10 Travel Trends for 2021

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s just how much we love to travel, especially when our wings are clipped by COVID-19. Now a vaccine is imminent, state borders are starting to relax, and we’re fortunate to have an incredible ‘outback yard’ to explore. International borders are still under lock and key for Australian nationals, so we're staying closer to home for now. But when they open up what can we look forward to? We take a look at what’s trending for prospective travel in 2021.

View of two passengers looking over the falls with a guide, Western Australia

1. Off the Grid

The Kimberley is a great choice for off-the-grid travel in 2021, as we seek out more socially distanced adventures without having to leave the country. It’s only a matter of time before Western Australia follows suit to open its borders and who wouldn’t want to be one of the first to experience the Kimberley’s remote ‘final-frontier’ appeal after months of it remaining almost untouched by tourism?

How: 15 Day Kimberley Complete

When: March to October 2021

2. Responsible Travel

APT knows the Kimberley inside out with almost 40 years' experience in the region and a network of three Advanced Ecotourism Certified wilderness lodges. Mitchell Falls Wilderness Lodge is pictured here and Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge has just undergone a multi-million dollar renovation in anticipation of 2021’s visitor influx. Plus APT Kimberley Wilderness Adventures aligns with another 2021 travel trend, responsible tourism, thanks to established links to local causes like the Wunan Foundation through our OneTomorrow charitable foundation.

How: 5 Day Bell Gorge Encounter

When: May to September 2021

mitchell falls ungolan pavilion 12-5
Person looking out over the valley below from mountain top in Queensland

3. Slow Travel Re-Booted

For many of us, 2020 has helped buck the ‘cult of being busy’ with enforced lockdowns and work-from-home arrangements. Replaced with a gear-shift to slowing down and being more ‘present’. At APT, slow travel has had a re-boot with our new Walking Holidays, for active guests who want to see the world up close with a pack on their back, leaving a minimal footprint. In 2021, we cover some of Queensland, Tasmania and New Zealand’s most scenic walking trails.

How: Queensland’s Scenic Rim and Sunshine Coast 9-Day Walking Holiday

When: April to July 2021

4. Private Jet Air Tours

Following the widespread suspension of air travel at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, earlier this year, no one could envisage that it would result in the take-off of another travel trend by the end of 2020. Private jet air charter has surged with ongoing demand for travel but in a controllable environment. A nimble solution to managing hygiene concerns, social distancing and dynamic itineraries, in line with variable border restrictions. The recent success of our Queensland Outback & Tropics by Private Jet journey has led the way for future private jet air tours across Australia, including Tasmania, the Southern Ocean and Top End, the West Coast and Kimberley, and Queensland.

How: 7 Day Southern Ocean to Top End by Private Jet

When: June to July 2021

Private Jet Air Tour Queensland Pilot Crew
Jacob's Creek Winery building exterior

5. Luxury Short Breaks

Think of them as a decadent extension of the staycation, which this year’s unparalleled circumstances have foisted upon most of us. The beauty of a short break is that it quenches our perennial thirst for new experiences, treats us to a luxurious respite and whisks us safely home again. APT’s Luxury Short Breaks transport you to Tasmania, Margaret River and South Australia’s top foodie destinations for some serious soul food, epicurean escapes and winery discoveries.

How: Tasmania Epicurean 4WD Escape

When: October to November 2021

6. Untouristed Travel

For 2021, expanding our horizons beyond 2020’s limitations is more significant than ever. Cruising WA’s remote Kimberley Coast ticks the 'untouristed travel' box as a voyage beyond Australia’s final frontier, made seamlessly accessible aboard APT’s MS Caledonian Sky. Dip into coastal discoveries by Zodiac and enjoy invitations to explore Indigenous culture with ease. One special sailing is also an onboard food adventure courtesy of celebrity chef Luke Nguyen.

How: 10 Day Kimberley Coastal Cruise with Luke Nguyen

When: July 2021 (limited availability)

View of Caledonian Sky surrounded by Zodiacs
AmaReina docked near the city centre of Passau, Germany

7. Cruise Control

It’s not news that cruising Europe’s waterways is ideal on-your-doorstep travel. Rivers like the Danube course through capital cities and past historic sites so that you can sit back and enjoy the view, jump off for an escorted tour or explore with the use of an onboard bike. What’s changed for 2021 is that river cruising is a champion of the slow travel trend with options to social distance. With APT, it provides a safe environment within which to explore Europe at your own pace, avoiding crowds and queues, in all-inclusive luxury.

How: 15 Day Magnificent Europe

When: March to December 2021

8. Go with the Flow

Asia river cruising zeroes in on 2021 travel themes: slow travel, wellness, food adventures and meaningful journeys. A luxury APT Mekong River cruise is about taking it slow, looking on from your ship’s Sun Deck as everyday life drifts past. Immersive Signature Experiences offer meaningful cultural encounters from food market adventures to joining a Buddhist blessing. Aboard APT’s new river ship Mekong Serenity, enjoy the elegant nod to French-colonial style and Luke Nguyen’s Indochine restaurant which serves up a five-course menu designed by the celebrity chef. Luke accompanies a 14-day cruise aboard the new Mekong Serenity in 2021.

How: 14 Day Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam and Mekong River Cruise

When: November 2021

Swimming Pool on AmaMekong - Artist Impression
A couple standing before a large set of mountains in Banff National Park

9. Back to Nature

Answering the call of the wild is up there on 2021 travel agendas as the antithesis of 2020’s restrictions, screen time and video calls. Canada’s Rocky Mountains has long been the outdoor idyll for nature enthusiasts, so basing yourself in Canada’s pristine alpine wilderness is now a chance to appreciate life’s simple wonders. There’s adventure, wildlife and those iconic Fairmont Chateau hotels to pamper yourself in too. Combine with an Alaskan cruise to slow down and spectate nature’s glory along the Inside Passage to Anchorage.

How: 22 Day Rockies Odyssey and Alaska Cruise

When: May to September 2021

10. Virtual Consultations

In a world that’s accelerated the virtual experience this year by necessity, it’s no surprise we’re more reliant on remote connectivity than ever. Needing to social distance but still require face-to-face advice from a travel expert? Video consultations are on the rise as a way for guests to engage with travel experts, to coordinate and manage their travel planning and booking process. The added complexities of COVID-19 have made this a vital medium and an easily accessible way for guests to connect with our team at APT.

Travel on Your Terms

We’ve heeded 2020’s demand to pivot and innovate, especially in the travel industry. When travelling with APT in 2021, we want to ensure you do so with security and confidence. You’ll have the freedom to change your plans, lower deposits are available, prices are guaranteed once booked and extended payment dates are on offer. Time to spread those wings again?