Top 10 Travel Trends of 2019, According to Pinterest

How many of these are on your list?

Top 10 Travel Trends of 2019, According to Pinterest

Fall getaways, undiscovered islands, and abandoned castles all made Pinterest’s travel trend list.

Courtesy of Pinterest

With only a few weeks left until 2019, Pinterest just released the Pinterest 100, its fifth annual look into the top trends its 250 million users have saved to plan the year ahead. The list covers everything from home decor to beauty to fashion, but at AFAR we’re particularly interested in how and where people are planning to travel in 2019.

To find the top travel trends for next year, Pinterest took a look at what people searched for on its site in the past six months. It found that these 10 destinations, modes of transportation, and other trip ideas saw the greatest percentage increase in search, so it’s likely you’ll be noticing a lot more hot springs, abandoned castles, and bike trips in your feed in the new year.


Some suites at The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon have their own private lagoons.

Courtesy of The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon

10. [tie] Hot Springs: +32% According to Pinterest, hot springs have sprung. Whether it’s at a high-end resort like The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, where guests have private access to the geothermal waters, or somewhere further afield like the Peninsula Hot Springs on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula outside of Melbourne, these relaxing places are on the rise. For more hot springs inspiration, see AFAR’s list of 11 of the World’s Dreamiest Steamiest Hot Springs.


2019 might be the year you reconsider bus travel.

Courtesy of

10. [tie] Bus Travel: +32% Your days of city-hopping in Europe via bus may be long gone, but bus travel is still the best way for thrifty travelers to get around. With more companies launching luxury bus service with amenities like free 4G Wi-Fi for a fraction of the price of a plane or train ticket, it’s a no-brainer that this mode of transportation is becoming more popular.


Everyone from enthusiasts to casual bikers can enjoy a cycling trip.

Courtesy of

8. Bike Tours: +64% At AFAR, we’ve long known that a cycling tour is one of the best ways to see a country and stay active while traveling. But now the rest of the world is catching up with what Pinterest calls “a wheelie good tour.” Curious about this trend? Read more about why Tucson is the best place to go biking this winter, what to pack for you next cycling adventure, and even the best B&B&B (bed and breakfast and bicycle) to stay at on your next trip.


Packing a reusable water bottle is one of the easiest ways to eliminate waste while traveling.

Courtesy of

7. Zero Waste Travel: +74% Carbon offsetting your flight is no longer enough for a growing sector of eco-conscious travelers. Search for “zero waste travel” nearly doubled on Pinterest as more people search for strategic ways to pack and eat while on the road and for sustainable places to stay on their next trip.


Interest in fall travel has nearly doubled on Pinterest.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

6. Autumn Scenery: +94% As kids, nothing could compete with summer vacation. But now that we’re all grown up, fall getaways are where it’s at. Between enjoying harvest season at a farm-to-table restaurant, staying at a hotel with a fire pit, and going on a fall foliage train ride, people are more obsessed with fall than ever before—and Pinterest has the numbers to prove it.


The abandoned Spiš Castle in Slovakia was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1993.

Courtesy of

5. [tie] Abandoned Castles: +142% It may be the Game of Thrones effect, but interest in “abandoned castles” on Pinterest has more than doubled recently as travelers pass over Versailles and Windsor Castle to look for romantically derelict spots to explore like Ballycarbery Castle in Ireland and Spiš Castle in Slovakia.


Rio is the only specific destination to make Pinterest’s travel trends list for 2019.

Photo by aquachara on Unsplash

5. [tie] Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: +142% It’s been more than two years since the Summer Olympics, but interest in Rio de Janeiro on Pinterest is skyrocketing because of its beautiful beaches and exciting carnaval season. It also helps that it’s become easier than ever to travel to Brazil thanks to a new e-visa program for U.S. citizens that costs less than $45 instead $160, as it used to. Ready to book a ticket? Plan your trip with AFAR’s guide to Rio de Janeiro.


Flores Island is part of the remote Azores archipelago off the coast of Portugal.

Courtesy of

3. Less Traveled Islands: +179% Within the past year, the Philippine government closed Boracay and Santorini banned anyone over 220 pounds from riding the island’s donkeys to help combat the effects of overtourism in each destination. So it comes as no surprise that the search for less traveled islands on Pinterest is growing as people look for untouched places without the crowds. Need inspiration? AFAR is particularly fond of the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal located less than a five-hour flight from the East Coast in the Atlantic Ocean.


AFAR surprised writer Charmaine Craig with a trip to Lisbon recently.

Photo by Liam McKay on Unsplash

2. Surprise Destination: +192% At AFAR, we’re big fans of surprise trips. Ever since our first issue in fall 2009, we’ve been sending writers to unknown destinations with just 24 hours’ notice in our “Spin the Globe” feature (Charmaine Craig discovered Lisbon for our November/December 2018 issue). Now, it’s one of the top travel trends that anyone can experience. To try it out for yourself, you can hire a company like Pack Up + Go to plan a three-day weekend to a place that they pick for you based on a survey you take. Or you can surprise your mom, best friend, or significant other with a trip that you plan to a secret spot with minimal hints along the way (like what weather to pack for and what dates to take off from work). Find more tips for planning a surprise trip on Pinterest.


Small towns like the Bavarian village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, are becoming increasingly popular to visit.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

1. Small Town Travel: +276% Move over big cities, small town travel is on the rise. It is the top travel trend on Pinterest for 2019 by a long shot, and we love small towns here at AFAR, too. Where else can you find charming inns, regional cuisine, and mom-and-pop shops all in one place? If you’re looking for more pint-sized destination inspiration, we have everything from the best U.S. small towns for summer getaways to the most beautiful village in Spain.

>> Next: 25 Best Places to Go in 2019

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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