Travel Predictions for 2010

Tom Swick: This just in: The Jersey shore will become the new Hamptons!

01.05.10 | 10:02 AM ET


More people will leave home than ever before, though many will just go out for a beer.

It will be safe to walk the Appalachian Trail again.

Americans will finally be allowed to travel legally to Cuba, and boatloads of long-suffering tourists will inundate the island.

Oasis of the Seas will lose its status as the world’s largest cruise ship with the launch of Biggest Loser of the Seas.

In deference to literal-minded travelers, boutique hotels will start housing boutiques.

Andrew Zimmern will decide that he really doesn’t like offal and insects, and will start traveling the world in search of salads.

The Winter Olympics in British Columbia will be remarkably free of drug scandals, though many of the spectators will be stoned.

As part of his continuing effort to stay out of the spotlight, Tiger Woods will become a travel writer.

The Hamptons will be quiet this summer as everyone heads to the Jersey Shore.

The pilgrimage to Santiago in Spain will become a popular reality show.

Before takeoff, flight attendants will come down the aisle and ask passengers if they understand English and are physically capable of restraining the person next to them if that person suddenly sets himself on fire.

Rick Steves will start his campaign for president.

On the first Sunday in September, the New York Times Travel section will consist of nothing but ads and blank spaces due to the paper’s inability to find any writers who have never taken a free trip.

In a risky marketing move, W hotels will change their name to F.

Strangers, periodically, will kiss kindness goodbye.

Instead of banning smoking in bars and restaurants, Japan will simply require that such establishments have on hand, for non-smoking patrons, the ever-popular surgical masks.

President Obama will be given a Lowell Thomas Award.

Trends in adventure travel will continue as Greece, Australia and California all start offering fire-fighting vacations.

Visits to Amish Country will increase as travelers look for places where the locals aren’t wired or glued to their cell phones.

An Elderhostel tour member in London will cash the world’s last traveler’s check.

First it was the aquarium, then the retro stadium, then the Frank Gehry building. This year, giving a city cachet, will be the Twitter Park.

Responding to vandalism, Paris will replace its rent-a-bike program with rent-a-torched-car.

Mexico will rebound from a disastrous 2009, but will remain far from God and close to the United States.

The World Cup in South Africa will be a boon for tourism, especially if, after the competition, authorities fill the stadiums with wild animals.

The coming green travel trend? Earthen suitcases.

Fraud will be suspected when Tehran keeps getting voted the world’s most beautiful city.

A young American, traveling in Asia, will lose her iPhone and find nirvana.

Tom Swick

Tom Swick is the author of two books: a travel memoir, Unquiet Days: At Home in Poland, and a collection of travel stories, A Way to See the World: From Texas to Transylvania with a Maverick Traveler. He was the travel editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for 19 years, and his work has been included in "The Best American Travel Writing" 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2008.

12 Comments for Travel Predictions for 2010

Mike Barish 01.05.10 | 11:39 AM ET

I’m assuming that young American is Asia will have blond dreadlocks and fall in love with an Australian who “really understands what life is all about.” He was most certainly never wear shoes.

Nick Rowlands 01.05.10 | 2:35 PM ET

And then they’ll do the Camino to Santiago, at which point they’ll discover that walking for God is a lot more difficult when you’ve got no shoes on.

And I think the coming green travel trend is Conscious Travel, where people actually realise they are in a foreign country, and behave accordingly.

Great list ; )

Mary Huff 01.05.10 | 3:10 PM ET

Funny enuf, this year, my young American-in-Asia nephew with the dreadlocks left his i-phone at home and found nirvana in India, hardly ever wore shoes and spent only $500 in three months because he met so many wonderful locals and contributed his carpentry skills. 

Tom, love the list!  Esp the snark about the NYT having to close its travel pages b/c they can’t find a writer who hasn’t taken a comp. But then I’m a travel PR person.  Living in Manhattan in the 70s-80s I always preferred the Jersey Shore over The Hamptons, country girl from GA that I am.

Mari de Armas 01.05.10 | 5:57 PM ET

I think it’s a great idea for W to change to F. When I tweet, from the Twitter Park,  that I’m staying at the F Hotel, it will seem naughty.

Great list!

TambourineMan 01.05.10 | 9:18 PM ET

“Rick Steves will start his campaign for president.”

He’s got my vote. LEGALIZE IT, Senor Steves.

Ben 01.06.10 | 12:59 AM ET

A thoroughly enjoyable list. I can’t wait to head off on my first fire-fighting vacation to Greece…

Rebecca 01.06.10 | 11:03 AM ET

Funny!  Who knows what travel will hold for 2010.  You never know about the Jersey Shore.  Extra (TV program) has covered it and you know what that means…be on the lookout for celebrity sightings :-)  Talk about interesting and fun travel articles if you visit the Jersey Shore…

leslie 01.06.10 | 3:37 PM ET

this is hilarious, tom. i can’t decide which i like best, the tiger woods line (ouch!) or your twist on porfirio diaz.

Samantha 01.06.10 | 7:57 PM ET

This was kind of ..garbage. It could have been way better, IMO.

Sonya 01.08.10 | 5:11 AM ET

Thanks, your list of predictions made me laugh out loud.  Charming and clever!

Travel Blogs 01.09.10 | 7:58 PM ET

There is so much truth in that description, LOL

chiang mai hotel 01.22.10 | 9:57 AM ET

Thanks for this list of predictions, so funny

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