The future of group travel: top 10 trends & insights for 2022
As we near the end of 2021, we have our hearts set on all the travel opportunities to come in 2022. Think: twirling a plate of truffle pasta in Florence, making your friends go green with envy when they see your photos at the Cliffs of Moher, or even finally catching that creamsicle-colored Santorini sunset. That’s why we’re sharing the newest group travel trends and insights with you, so you can be in the know when picking where to go next year.
1. Italy, Greece, and Ireland take the cake as the most popular countries to visit
Europe has our hearts. But are we really surprised? It’s home to foods that are more than worth an overnight flight and there’s a country for every type of traveler. With a range of travel styles to choose from, it’s easy for travelers to find a tour of Italy, Greece, Ireland, and beyond that speaks to them. The love for Europe doesn’t stop there. The UK, Scotland, and Spain round out the top six destinations across the globe that travelers are most interested in visiting. Talk about the ultimate destinations for history, culture, and a little bit of Mediterranean sunshine.
Discover best-selling trips to Italy, Greece, and Ireland
Venice, Florence & Rome (9 days)
The Greek Islands: Mykonos, Santorini & Crete
Ireland: Traditions of the Emerald Isle
See all of our Europe tours >
2. Travelers are also dreaming of visiting Australia
Outside of Europe, Australia’s the destination travelers are most interested in visiting. While Australia isn’t one of the countries we’re traveling to right now, it hasn’t stopped people from planning ahead for when they can take a trip to the Land Down Under. From feeling the pulse of city life in Melbourne, to snorkeling alongside the stunning wildlife in the Great Barrier Reef, and even seeing UNESCO-listed icons like the Sydney Opera House, Australia really has it all.
Plan for a future trip to Australia
Highlights of Australia & New Zealand
Highlights of Australia: The Great Barrier Reef to Sydney
See all of our Australia tours >
3. Expect a big boom in group travel throughout 2022
People are ready to get off their couches and back out into the world! More than half of travelers (62% to be exact!) are looking to travel in 2022, while another 43% have their sights set on a 2023 adventure. An additional 16% of people are looking even further out and planning their first international trip for 2024. More groups on the road = more bucket list moments, shared memories, and connections made with locals around the globe.
Explore trending tours for 2022
Costa Rica: Rainforests, Volcanoes & Wildlife
4. Shoulder season edges out the off-season as the most popular time to travel
While we love a good excuse to take a trip in the off-season, 57% of people are planning trips for the shoulder season. That’s May and September! Those are the months right before and after peak travel season, plus those months are usually when the weather is just right. May and September are also when many local celebrations take place, like Oktoberfest, which gives travelers a chance to see the more festive side of their destination.
Travel on these top trips in May and September
Oktoberfest: Germany, Switzerland & Austria
Barcelona, Southern France & the Italian Riviera
5. Solo travel is taking over
A quarter of travelers prefer to go solo! Want to know the best part of going solo on a guided tour? It’s that you’re not really solo, you’re surrounded by our travel experts and a group of like-minded travelers. Plus, you’ll enjoy the ease of having all the details handled, and the peace of mind knowing we’re there for you wherever you go.
See tours created just for solo travelers
Greek Islands for Solo Travelers: Crete & Santorini
U.S. National Parks for Solo Travelers: The Grand Canyon to Zion
See all of our Solo Tours >
6. Multi-Country Tours are trending
40% of people prefer to see as much as possible over visiting just one country. Good thing our Multi-Country Tours make it easy to visit more than one place during a trip—especially if you’re going to Europe. Psst… these are our six favorite Multi-Country Tours. Stopping in a variety of destinations gives you the chance to experience more cultures, cuisines, and landscapes. Sounds like a travel trifecta to us!
Book these popular Multi-Country Tours today
Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland
Grand Tour of Portugal & Spain: Porto to Barcelona
See all of our Multi-Country Tours >
7. One to two weeks is the ideal amount of time to be away
61% of people like to take trips that are between seven and 14 days long. Even if you’re short on time, you don’t need to skimp on experiencing alllll the highlights. When you go guided, you say goodbye to wasting time standing in line or wandering around trying to decide what’s worth seeing next. You’ll get to skip the lines and see the top sites with expert local guides on all of our tours.
Set off on these weeklong trips in 2022
Ancient Egypt: Giza, Luxor & Cairo
A Week in Greece: Athens, Mykonos & Santorini
8. People want to visit somewhere new, instead of an old favorite
84% of travelers want to go to places they’ve never been before. Building and tackling a bucket list is one of the joys of seeing the world, and travelers love to cross new places off their list whenever they can. Will 2022 be the year you check a World Wonder or UNESCO-listed site off your list?
Take these bucket list trips in 2022
Israel, Jordan & Egypt: Petra to the Pyramids
Grand Tour of Peru: Machu Picchu to Lake Titicaca
9. Art, history, and adventure are among travelers’ top interests
Traveling is all about finding trips that really suit your style. For most people, this means picking a tour that highlights the art, history, or adventure found in a particular region. Have a different interest in mind? Our travel styles have got you covered. From Castle Tours to Safari & Wildlife trips and even Food & Wine getaways, you can experience the world on carefully crafted itineraries tailored to your specific interests.
Browse trips by your travel style
Take our Tour Match quiz to find a trip that fits your interests or browse all of of our travel styles >
10. Travelers value ease of purchase and the overall tour experience
Where you go on tour, what you do, and how easy it is to pay for that dream trip are by far the most important aspects people value in a travel company. Lucky for you, AutoPay, our interest-free payment plan, makes it easy to book your tour for just $99 down and pay for it over time. Plus, when you go guided with us we handle all the details—and we truly mean all the details. From booking hotels and transportation to securing expert local guides and skip-the-line tickets to top attractions, we take care of all the logistics. That means your only responsibility is to sit back and enjoy the sites and scenery on tour.
In addition to all those benefits of going guided, we also provide the industry-leading EF COVID Care Promise to all travelers. In the rare instance you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 or need to quarantine while on tour, we’ll be there to assist you. For no additional cost, we’ll cover food and lodging, reschedule your flights home if we booked them, and coordinate translation services.
Check out these immersive tours to top destinations
Greek Islands Adventure: Athens, Naxos & Paros
Ireland: The Wild Atlantic Way
Food & Wine: Northern Italy & the Italian Riviera
See all of our Small Group Tours >
Which future travel trends are getting you excited to get out and see the world in 2022? Tell us on our Facebook page!