Conscious Travel Trends

The growing demand of travelers for special experiences and the need for a more conscious exchange with the locals, nature and animals are coming together in a high pace. The moral compass is being challenged, the materialistic bucket list thoughts of travelers is slowly going away and the Purpose is connecting to People, Planet & Profit. Conscious travel & commerce can go together. Purpose Lab’s philosophy strives to more consciousness through emphasizing the benefits for travelers. We also believe that emphasizing the value of conscious travel is the key to further sustain consciousness in tourism.

Travel Trends Conscious Travel

Shopping the highlights is not the hype anymore, avoiding the international masses and giving back are all getting more important. Meaningful travel is rising: giving more meaning to your vacation for yourself and the country you are visiting. A trip that has deep meaning for yourself, but also for the people, animals, nature and culture. Now that we travel more, the consciousness on the social and ecological aspect of this is growing and it deserves more attention. At the same time, the need for a vacation that is more personal, unique and informative is growing.

A fun vacation without guilt

People get a lot of happiness and relaxation from traveling. A vacation mostly has to be fun for a lot of people, but without any questioning of the conscience. Self-interest is appearing to be an important motive in the making of conscious decisions. Research from professor Xavier Font shows that the majority, over 70%, of the western consumers is willing to make responsible decisions, if they do not lessen the experience. Professor Simons Kuijpers from the Radboud University says: “People want to do good for others, but there has to be something in it for them. They want to be challenged, to develop themselves and to overcome obstacles.” Purpose Lab is seeing a lot of opportunities there. Overtourism clashes with the growing need of personal travel experiences. Small-scaled and local stays and being a part of the life of the locals is a benefit.

We are on a tipping point that helps us to also make more conscious decision on our vacation
Tessa aan de Stegge
Trend researcher & founder Purpose Lab

Giving back is getting more important

This are the trends on the are of conscious travel:

Trend 1.
The detour vacation

The trend of the detour vacation is a reaction to overtourism by Dutch people that want to avoid the masses and travel more consciously. Most Western travelers do not want to be an over tourist, because experiencing something with thousands of others will make your vacation a lot less special. We will leave the existing paths and look for the second best highlights.

Trend 2.
Do good, feel good while traveling

We are confronted more with the effects of our vacations because we are traveling more. The conscious trend Do good, feel good catches on to that feeling. A growing number of –mostly young- travelers are doing something back for the place that they are visiting, like a beach clean up where they clear the beach of plastic. The travel branch also initiates a lot of ways for travelers to decrease their ecological footprint.

duurzaam reizen trends

Trend 3.
Traveling in a group

Traveling with likeminded people is becoming more popular. Also for ourselves we make conscious decisions. Groups of friends and families are deciding to make more trips together, a safari in Tanzania for example is very popular. Group travels for single people and for people with the same interests like yoga, cooking, entrepreneurship, mountain biking or scientific research are also growing. After the trend of road tripping with an RV, the trend community camping is showing up. Campspace brings likeminded campers and private camping places together through events. Solo travel does not have to mean that you are traveling alone, a lot of apps are focusing on these travelers’ need to find a connection with others.

Trend 4.
Fix trip

Traveling with the intention of coming back home feeling reborn is a much heard of motive to go on vacation. The sportive possibilities are endless with the trend Fix trip: from the surfari (surf vacation) to yoga and bootcamp vacations. On the mental and spiritual side of things the vacation is amazing: the mumcation for moms that have to refuel, safe your marriage trips or the painmoons were you go on a trip to work through a rough period.


Trend 5.
Micro adventure

The image of vacations always taking place abroad is not there anymore. Using your salary to have experiences instead of materialistic things has become the way to live, but the budget or the amount of vacation days is not always enough. We also do not always want to have the troubles of traveling like the safety percussions at airports or worry about the ecological damage of traveling. According to the trend watchers we are getting more inventive and are going on micro adventures close to home to get away from the daily life and busyness. A short road trip or a camping trip in your own country or just passing the border, one night away in a fancy hotel or in a Tiny House, stargazing in your own backyard or a festival that goes on for a few days. Lazing is also back: just doing nothing at a simple place without any distractions.

Trend 6.
Traveling by train

Slow travel is back and the attention for a form of transport that is less harmful to the environment is increasing. Not surprising that there is an increasing interest in train travel! For trips to Brussels, London and Paris, the train net is even faster than flying and for longer distances the night train can be comfortable. Train travel saves nature and gives the advantage that it is more comfortable and you can experience the local culture better.


To give some insight in the activities that the lab develops we made a Manifest. This is how we stimulate travelers to behave like a guest in different cultures and to make as much local decisions as possible. See the Manifest of Purpose Lab.

Purpose Lab for you

Are you interested in a campaign that is inspireerde by conscious travel trends? Check out our campaigns & concept page. More about talks and workshops can be found here. Also we do tailor made research, read more about it here.