Backroads has revealed its top adventure travel trends for 2020. Our favorite active-travel trip organizer puts out an annual list based on its bookings and feedback from avid travelers who tell the company just what they are seeking to check off next on the travel wish lists.
We have taken a number of thrilling trips with Backroads, including a multi-sport adventure sailing around New Zealand and two Danube River cruises that it designs in collaboration with AmaWaterways.
Read about some of our awesome Backroads experiences here:
Backroads Multi-Sport Adventure Cruise in New Zealand
7 Things About a Biking Trip with Backroads and AmaWaterways
So, let's get right into it. These are Backroads' top trends in adventure travel for 2020:
Family Travel with Adult Kids 20 to 30
Backroads is the only outfitter that offers four distinct age and life-stage categories. The company designs trips that fit the travel goals and interests of each age group. Backroads builds its itineraries, meals and even hotel selection to suit each stage, creating a great dynamic for kids and parents alike. Rolling out in 2020, Backroads "Family Trips for 20s & Beyond" have been instant winners with travelers. In the launch year, there are nearly 100 "Biking, Walking & Hiking and Multi-Adventure" itineraries to choose from in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
Electric-Assist Bikes (eBikes)
Fondly referred to as "the great equalizer," cyclists looking for a little extra boost and to keep pace with other riders have helped spur enormous growth in the electric-assist bicycle category. eBikes are included on Backroads biking trips in North America, Europe and New Zealand and are a great way to make longer distances or bigger hills more accessible. These are ideal if you are traveling with a more avid cyclist, so you can enjoy the full scope of the day's riding adventures every time. In 2020, Backroads expects to host 8,500 travelers on eBikes, making the company the largest eBike cycling travel company in the world. In response to inquiries and feedback, Backroads has developed a custom-designed titanium eBike with the same comfort and stability as its top-rated Touring Bike.
Northern Lights Trips
There has been a spike in interest from people wanting to travel to Iceland and Lapland for a chance to see the famed aurora borealis (Northern Lights), a perennial bucket-list experience. Backroads has added capacity to their active adventures in these regions between November and March, when there is an increased likelihood of opportunities to see this natural light phenomenon.
Unique Hiking Experiences
The Backroads "Walking & Hiking" portfolio of offerings has been growing steadily for the past five years, and the company has more recently seen a surge in bookings for hiking-focused trips with unique experiences like heli-hiking in the Canadian Rockies, hut-to-hut hiking in Europe and lodge-to-lodge trekking in Peru.
Active Ocean & River Cruises
Backroads will take more than 2,000 adventure-inclined cruisers on active ocean and river voyages in 2020, as these departures gain in popularity. The industry is also seeing strong growth in active cruising for families and Backroads "Full-Ship Celebration" charter trips, where everyone on board is a Backroads traveler, creating a one-of-a-kind journey among likeminded active travelers. The combination of living aboard a ship with unique access to off-the-beaten-path bike routes and only unpacking once is enticing to adventure-seekers of all ages.
Private and Custom Trips
No matter the size of your group, people crave personalized trips and the flexibility of planning their own itinerary. Backroads has streamlined its private and custom trip booking process, making arranging these trips easier and more economical, offering families and friends a great chance to travel together on existing itineraries or on trips designed just for their group. The practice of taking over a scheduled departure or working with a travel professional to plan a custom active adventure has steadily grown over the past five years.
The full solar eclipse in 2018 was a social media sensation, and there is expectation that catching a glimpse of the next one, taking place in December 2020, will be just as much of a sought-after experience. Backroads trips to Latin America for the best eclipse watching next winter have been selling fast. The company has added a number of departures to keep up with the demand including the "Argentina Patagonia Lake District Multi-Adventure" and the "Chile Bike and Multi-Adventure."
"And there is increased interest in bucket-list experiences like seeing the Northern Lights while traveling actively. Along with expanded active ocean and river cruise offerings, we are rolling out an incredible lineup of new trips."
Thanks for reading,