Aussie travellers are seeking ‘customised experiences’ and ‘high-end travel’ for the year ahead, according to the annual survey by travel trend forecaster Virtuoso.

They’re calling it “Carpe Diem” travel and this seize the day attitude applies to the hottest destinations and styles of travel for 2020.

The official list includes the most sought after places for family, adventure, romance, solo and even millennial travel – plus, the biggest travels trends for the year ahead and the truth about what motivates us to travel. And, cruise is on the rise, with our love of voyages on the high seas growing – adventure cruising and ocean cruising place first and second, respectively as top new travel trends.

According to the results, Aussies want to experience new destinations in more authentic ways. We want comfort, and luxury comes in the form of personalised adventures, shared with family and friends.

Here’s what’s on the forecast:

Top Emerging Destinations:

  1. Japan
  2. Croatia
  3. Iceland
  4. Antarctica
  5. Egypt

    Japan tops the list for travel destinations in 2020

Top Travel Trends:

  1. Adventure cruising
  2. Ocean cruising
  3. Multigenerational travel
  4. Active / Adventure trips
  5. Authenticity

Top Global Destinations:

  1. Japan
  2. Italy
  3. Croatia
  4. U.S.
  5. Iceland

    great-barrier-reef-adventure-p&o Cruise-cruisepassenger
    Adventure cruising is hot for 2020

Top Travel Motivations:

  1. Celebrating a milestone
  2. Spending time with loved ones
  3. Excitement of discovering new destinations
  4. Rest and relaxation
  5. Crossing off wanderlist items

Top Cities:

  1. New York City
  2. Tokyo
  3. Kyoto
  4. Lisbon
  5. Budapest

Top Adventure Destinations:

  1. Antarctica
  2. Iceland
  3. Alaska
  4. Kenya
  5. Croatia

    Antarctica rates highly for 2020

Top Millennial Destinations:

  1. Croatia
  2. Bali
  3. Cambodia
  4. Greece
  5. Japan

Top Family Travel Destinations:

  1. Fiji
  2. Hawaii
  3. Italy
  4. Japan
  5. Australia

Top Solo Travel Destinations:

  1. Italy
  2. Japan
  3. U.S.
  4. France
  5. New Zealand

    Italy tops the list for solo travel in 2020

Top Honeymoon Destinations:

  1. Maldives
  2. Fiji
  3. French Polynesia
  4. Greece
  5. Bali

But that’s not all we want.

Un-touristed and unexpected:

With some favourite destinations seeing a massive rise in demand, the luxury traveller is seeking remote, unspoiled destinations to avoid crowds at over-touristed locales. Aussies want places ranging from the culturally distinct to those steeped in nature, including Borneo, Greenland and Oman.

Country Coupling: 

Aussies want to visit multiple countries, during shorter journeys. Trips that mix locations are trending, especially ones with surprising combinations. Travellers may mix a ski adventure with a beach trip, or a city stay with a jungle adventure or a well-travelled place followed by a little-known spot to mingle with locals.

Tasty Travels: 

Food-based travel has gone from “trend” to its own niche, with wining and dining now considered essential to any trip. Cooking classes, eating in private homes, Michelin-starred restaurants, farm-to-table visits, truffle hunting – dining has become such a focus that some travellers book restaurant reservations at the same time they book their flights.

Group Getaways:

Aussie travellers want to bond with like-minded people. ‘Gen X-ers’, ‘Boomers’ and even ‘Matures’ are holidaying 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 luxury girl’s-trips to chill out. Groups of couples are also travelling together, including ‘buddymoons’, where newlyweds invite their mates.

Buddymoons are hot for 2020

EQ Encounters:

Emotional Intelligence is a new motivation for travel. Pushing beyond comfort zones and genuine interaction with locals gives travellers a deeper appreciation for the people and cultures they meet. Instead of the usual attractions, travellers are instead chasing 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 to stay at places that reflect the destination – inns full of character, small neighbourhood hotels and private homes.