Trendwatch: 2020

2020 has begun with a bang and here at the BIRD’s nest we’re excited for what the upcoming year will bring. We like to think we have our finger on the pulse of the latest trends across travel, wellness and sustainability, so have a good scroll below for our top 10 trends for the year ahead…

Credit: Google Images

1. Environmental Consciousness

As Gen Z becomes an increasingly important market, sustainability is expected to be considered, implemented and promoted so that mindful travel is an accessible and easy option. As such, alternatives to flying such as train travel are becoming increasingly attractive: 65% of Gen Z passengers would take a train instead of a plane (Globetrender, 2019).

Birdies pick: We love Black Tomato’s ‘South Africa Blue Train’, complete with guests’ very own butler, top class chef and hotel room whilst travelling between Cape Town and Pretoria.

Credit: Conde Nast Traveller

2. Second City Travel

In a similar vein, to combat over-tourism and its negative effects, many travellers are venturing off-the-beaten-track to explore lesser known cities for the majority of their stay, spending less time in typical tourist hubs and having a more authentic experience.’s recent survey stated that 54% of global travellers want to play a part in reducing over-tourism, while 51% would swap their original destination for a lesser-known alternative in order to leave a reduced environmental impact.

Birdies pick: Instead of Lisbon, we love the beautiful, wild landscape of the Alentejo, a mere 2-hour drive from the capital and home to the recently restored 19th century farmhouse hotel, São Lourenço do Barrocal.

Credit: Conde Nast Traveller

3. Mood Food

More than just a catchy name, studies show that indivudals are increasingly delving deeper into the impact of what they eat and how this effects their emotional wellbeing. In fact, balanced, healthy and often plant-based diets have averaged a 68% annual growth rate in the last five years.

Birdies pick: The ‘Food for Beauty Retreat’ at the Marbella Club is the perfect way to address inner and outer beauty through a nutritional lens; understanding what we eat and how it makes us feel.

Credit: Culinary Nutrition

4. Preventative Wellness

It’s not just about curing that sore tummy or headache, it’s about preventing the aliment in the first place. Restorative and transformative wellness retreats are on the rise, along with reconnecting with nature.

Birdies pick: Who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep? Le Grand Bellevue and British Wellness partner, Bamford, will host an overnight ‘B Silent Sleep Retreat’ this summer- book here.

Credit: Le Grand Bellevue

5. Virtual Wellness

We don’t always have time to escape reality for some quality me time (sadly) but our crazy city lives can still be wellness focused- thanks to the rise in digital wellbeing apps. From breathwork to meditation, we can now fit little pockets of wellness into our busy lives (hooray!)

Birdies pick: BreatheVR combines the power of virtual reality with deep breathing techniques to reduce anxiety levels.

Credit: Google Images

6. Hotels and Media Platforms

The podcast phenomenon has hit the UK hard, with 7.1 million people listening to podcasts each week. Hotels are responding to this by transitioning into lifestyle brands, utilising podcasts and Instagram to tell the story behind the hotel, as well as giving little teasers to the hosts of experiences on offer.

Birdies pick: ‘Last Night at The Carlyle’ from The Carlyle hotel in New York chat about everything from Oscar predictions to holiday etiquette- all with exceptional guests.

Credit: Google Images

7. Cultural Programming

Arts and culture have long since been a favourite form of escapism and beauty- this year ‘crafty holidays’ are set to flourish as guests savour the chance to get their hands on and be amazed by writers and artists alike.

Birdies pick: The Swan, Southwold hosted a Reading Room series with inspirational figures and writers, such as Justine Picardie, Contributing Editor to Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country.

Credit: SALT of Palmar

8. Heritage Travel

Ever wanted to star on ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’- travellers are increasingly using ancestral websites and DNA test kits to research their family tree and explore their roots first-hand. In May last year, Airbnb and at-home genetic test company, 23andMe, collaborated to offer heritage travel experiences, following a 500% increase of travellers using Airbnb to trace their roots since 2014.

Birdies pick: The Shelbourne in Dublin provide guests with a dedicated genealogy butler, helping them to track down their Irish ancestors.

Credit: Conde Nast Traveller

9. Teenage Travel

Previously an overlooked market, hotels that cater specifically for teenagers are ticking a key box for many parents. In fact, 65% of parents state that the habits of their children influence their purchasing decisions (Positive Luxury Predictions Report, 2020).

Birdies pick: Oppidan Education is partnering with Cape Weligama this May to offer teens fun, confidence building workshops such as a ‘Dragon’s Den Business Pitch’ experience or ‘Debate your Mate’ session, as well as private one on one tutoring sessions, so holidays and exam revision periods are never a problem again. Book here.

Credit: Google Images

10. Gender-Specific Travel

Alongside solo travel, women’s and men’s orientated holidays respectively are also increasing. This follows a focus on men’s mental health, providing men wtih wellness retreats and encouraging them to self-reflect. Women-only travel companies have also seen a 230% increase in the past six years.

Birdies pick: Gutsy Girls offer weekend breaks and solo travel holidays- all with an adventure focus.  

Credit: Google Images