With better infrastructures, more visa-less entry countries and budget-friendly options, 2020 is the perfect year to travel the world. Whether you go for a week or the full year, you should start planning your trip now. Here’s why.
More People Travel the World Now Than Ever
In 2020, an estimated 1.45 billion people traveled somewhere around the world, a 3-4% increase over the previous year. In 2020, this number is expected to jump to 2 billion! That’s a 38% increase. The infrastructure of many countries is keeping pace with this. Take Iceland for example. They’re building larger parking lots at their key attractions (designed to blend in with the landscape), more hotels, and a wider range of bus tours (to keep people from all renting their own car).
Places are Getting Crowded
New options for flights and accommodations are opening up all the time, but they’re still selling out. I’ve seen cities in my travels which have 5x’ed their number of hotels and hostels but still have days and weeks when every single room is sold out. On one hand, staying in a new boutique hotel is much preferred to an older, run-down motel. On the other hand, more hotel options lead to over-tourism and crowding. Amsterdam has now put a ban on building new hotels and even limits Airbnbs to renting out a maximum of 30 days a year.
Landmarks are Changing or Disappearing
Our world is constantly changing due to intentional and unintentional destruction by man and the planet itself. In 2017, the iconic Azure Window arch in Malta, featured in Game of Thrones, collapsed during a storm. In 2019, Notre Dame was severely damaged by a fire. Cities are changing, landscapes are disappearing and entire biospheres are having to adapt due to the growing industries of man.
Thankfully, it’s not all bad news, despite how much the newspapers would want you to believe that. Many of us have heard that the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is dead, while the stories of restoration and regeneration of the coral haven’t been broadly published. We learn that 15 billion trees are cut down every year, but no one publishes how many trees are planted every year. Ethiopia by itself set the world record in 2019 by planting 350 million trees in a single day!
Visa-Less Options are Increasing
As of 2019, there are 184 countries and territories that American passport holders can travel to without a visa (a visa-less entry). These include all the countries in Europe (Belarus recently initiated a 30-day visa-less entry when arriving and departing from Minsk airport), most of South America and most of the countries in the South Pacific around Australia (but not Australia itself).
You Can Travel on a Budget
Best of all, it can be really cheap to travel, even to expensive countries. Budget airlines offer flights in Europe for as little as $3 including taxes and fees! Hostels, Airbnbs and even boutique hotels have rooms available for under $10 a night all over the world. Each country is different, but even the most expensive countries can be explored on a tight budget. I know. I’ve done it, and you can too. Where do you want to go first?