If you’re still doing candle-lit dinners and getting couples’ massages, put down the wine, slip on the bathrobe, and get your lavender-oiled self out of there. This is not the way antiquated 2010s. 

Boutique travel club Mr & Mrs Smith have teamed up with the Future Laboratory to present the next decade of millennial travel trends, with a special focus on romantic travel. With Valentine’s Day coming up (though love should be celebrated every day, and so on…), it’s a really interesting time to have a look and wonder. And maybe put back those heart-shaped chocolates.

Travel trends 2020
Tamara and James Lohan, the couple behind Mr & Mrs Smith

Checking in on modern love and travel

Titled ‘Modern love: Exploring the future of romantic travel’, the report is far from your regular, not merely outlining standout destinations, but pondering what it really means to travel in the ‘20s. This takes into consideration new and changing attitudes, social and political melodramas, and environmental awareness and sustainability. Sounds familiar, right? 

Buzzing millennials ourselves, it is refreshing to see that the report predicts that we’ll move away from those ‘mainstream’ notions of champagne and chocolate, and more towards more innovative experiences. 

Martin Raymond, co-founder of the Future Laboratory, explains: “Now, it is all about true surprise, genuine wonder, new experiences. Just as it is no longer cool or correct to discuss gender, or sexuality as binary and fixed, so it is no longer correct to talk of romance in such fixed, linear, and familiar terms.”

Image Credit: Louis A. Sheridan

So what’s hot or not for romantic weekends in the 2020s?

Whilst we could predict that farm-to-table dining and more transformative travel experiences would top the list, the findings are incredibly detailed, and pin-point even more specific angles. Find below a Hot or Not list of sorts:

On the Hot List

Responsive room lighting

Zero-impact tasting menus

Mindfulness for two

A California king bed (fits three)

Four-day peakend breaks

Ayahuasca-enhanced intimacy

Theirs and Theirs

Premium play spaces

Chief Romantic Officer

On the Not List

Candle-lit dinner

Fine dining

Massage for two

King size bed

Weekend getaway

Champagne-fuelled revelry

His and hers

Kids’ club

Concierge

Travel trends 2020
Image Credit: Louis A. Sheridan

…And what travel experiences will we seek for 2030?

These touch on several rising trends we’re familiar with in both social and environmental circles. A seeking for a deeper connection with ourselves and with the planet, find below the report’s top ten hotel experiences for 2030.

Love & Self Love

Sound healing: Aural baths for traveller wellness and sexual intimacy

On-demand, express beauty: Services as easy to select and order as a cocktail at a bar

Premium playspaces for children and parents: Providing bonding moments for adults and their offspring

Breathwork buffet: Offered at the same hours you would conventionally offer breakfast

Disconnection tour: A day where phone is locked away, guided by a local decelerator

Travel trends 2020
Image Credit: Louis A. Sheridan

Interactive tech

Pleasure pilgrimage: Guided play for one, two, or more, enabled by responsive room mood lighting, and aural and AR stimulation

XR-guided art tour: Where the city becomes an interactive canvas

Image Credit: Louis A. Sheridan

Away from the toxins

By-product cooking masterclass: Learning how to adopt zero-waste practices at home

Low-proof and non-alcoholic bars: Tonics that engender emotive experiences

Immersive nature: Glamping and luxury blend, with accommodation merged into the landscape without foregoing convenience 

Agree? Disagree? Pack your reusable bottle and ethically produced yoga pants and meet you at the airport?

Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.