The Rough Guide to 2022

written by Joanne Owen

updated 8.12.2021

We asked, and you answered! Huge thanks to the hundreds of travellers who took the time to take the Rough Guides 2022 Travel Survey. From the wheres, whats and worries of travelling in 2022, to your dream destinations and deep-rooted travel aims, the results make for fascinating reading.

  • Japan is your fantasy trip
  • But Italy is where you'll actually go
  • Forget relaxing – adventure is top of your list
  • Staycations are here to stay
  • Sustainability matters
  • Out of office! Travel is not a time for work
  • Travel is essential for good mental health

Read on to discover more about what travel really means to you, our readers, in 2022.

Your number one dream destination? Japan!

In terms of money's-no-object, all-time fantasy destinations, Japan came out top, followed by New ZealandAustralia and the USACosta Rica and the Maldives were up there, too.

If you're one of those dreaming of heading Stateside next year, don't miss the best places in the USA to visit in 2022.

Wherever you're dreaming of visiting, with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips a local expert in your chosen destination will work with you to plan and book a trip that's just right for you. Or, you can choose from a number of ready-to-go (but fully customisable!) Tailor-Made Trip itineraries.

Osaka castle with cherry blossom. Japanese spring beautiful scene ,Osaka,Japan

Osaka Castle framed by cheery cherry blossom, Japan © Shutterstock

Crazy about Staycations

Moving from dreams to reality (where money is a consideration), we asked where you intend to travel in 2022.

Just under a quarter of you plan to travel somewhere close to home, so it looks like the staycation trend is here to stay. If you're planning a UK holiday next year, don't miss our guide to the UK's best eco-friendly hotels and restaurants.

That said, plenty of you are planning to travel to Europe, with Italy revealed as your number one destination, followed by FranceSpainPortugal and Greece.

The USA is popular too, demonstrating a significant intention to travel further afield. If America happens to be top of your own 2022 wish-list, you’ll find inspiration in The Rough Guide to the 100 Best Places in the USA.

Charleston SC, a historic Antebellum home flies the American flag in Charleston, South Carolina ©  James Kirkikis/Shutterstock

Flying the flag in Charleston, South Carolina, USA © James Kirkikis/Shutterstock

From the breadth of destinations you mentioned, it's clear that Rough Guides readers are set on seeing the world in 2022. Wherever you go and however you like to travel, there's a Rough Guides guidebook or ebook to get you there.

Going Green in 2022

A quarter of respondents have the environment is on their mind as they look to 2022. If this is you, don't miss our tips for travelling more sustainably and discover what Rough Guides readers are willing to do to play their part in the results of our sustainable travel survey.

If sustainable travel matters to you, talk to a Rough Guides local expert before planning your next trip. They'll help you arrange a trip that has sustainability at its heart.

Active adventuring is in, luxury is out

Yes, you read that right. Over a third of you declared adventure to be a priority, while only 8 percent plan to take a wellness break, or a luxury travel experience. Yearning for adventure in 2022? Don't miss our guide to the world's best adventure destinations.


Wild water rafting adventures in Costa Rica © Shutterstock

Culture-oriented city sojourns are top of your plans, too – a third of you intend to take a city break in 2022.

A host of you plan to visit Italy and with Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips, you can book a trip that’s carefully curated to satisfy your cultural (and culinary) cravings in one hit, such as on a tour of Italian cities of the Renaissance.

St Mark's Square from the Grand canal. Venice, Italy © volkova natalia/Shutterstock

St Mark's Square from the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy © volkova natalia/Shutterstock

While city breaks look set to play a big part in 2022 travel, many participants said they’re planning a beach break, and (chiming with your desire for adventure), a quarter of you want to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime bucket list experiences.

This desire for beach and bucket list breaks reflect the likes of Costa Rica and the Maldives cropping up as your most desired destinations. Both deliver big when it comes to world-class beaches and exhilarating outdoor pursuits.

Barafundle Bay Wales

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire, a world-class beach in Wales © Shutterstock

Back to adventure again (there really is no getting away from it), wildlife-oriented travel, such as safaris, are a 2022 priority for many.

If you're looking for a wildlife-centred itinerary, discover the highlights of East Africa with Tailor-Made Trips Gorillas, Big Five and Zanzibar tour.

Cuba and Costa Rica are amazing destinations for wildlife-watchers (especially bird-lovers), with stunning eco-lodges to stay in as part of a sustainably-minded adventure experience. How about a room with magnificent mountain views in Costa Rica's Monteverde cloud forest?

Kilimanjaro safari © Shutterstock

A true bucket list experience – Kilimanjaro safari © Shutterstock

No work, all play!

All that considered, it’s also no surprise that a whopping 70 percent, of you said you refuse to work during your 2022 travels, while just over a quarter might occasionally check your work emails. 

2022: A year to explore and recharge

What do you want from travel in 2022? A resounding number of you expressed a desire to recharge and enjoy the emotional and mental benefits of travel.

If you've been missing that incomparable feeling of counting down the days to your trip, you're not alone – 22 percent of you love looking forward to a trip almost as much as the trip itself.

Astronomical or Solar Clock with skeleton sculpture, Prague Old Town, Czech Republic © SL-Photography/Shutterstock

Counting down counts for a lot. Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic © SL-Photography/Shutterstock

Alone time? No thanks – together is better

Given that we’ve spent so long in various states of isolation, it’s no surprise that a mere 3.6 percent of participants are hoping for some alone time.

Many more of you cited reconnecting with family as one of their key hoped-for travel aims. In addition, 15 percent of respondents plan to take a multi-generational trip.

Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaiian Islands © Maridav / Shutterstock

Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii – another of your dream destinations © Maridav / Shutterstock

Travel is crucial to your good mental health

Over 62 percent acknowledge the pandemic has changed the way they feel about travel in 2022, with most of those respondents citing that they are now wary of the speed at which a situation can change.

The pandemic has also made travellers more determined to fulfil their bucket list dreams and make their travel experiences more meaningful.


Tradtiional mask dance in Nepal, a destination many of you dream of visiting © Shutterstock

Half of you told us: "I live to travel"

In a deeper-rooted, longer-term sense (i.e. pandemic aside), 50 percent of you view travel as a means of trying new things and important for your mental health.

Half of you also agreed with the statement: “I live to travel”, while one respondent shared something we couldn't agree with more: "travel is enrichment”. Here's to 2022 travel being as enriching as possible.

If you’re looking for 2022 travel inspiration, you might want to get your hands on a copy of The Rough Guide to the 100 Best Places on Earth 2022, a picture-packed book that reveals our writers’ recommendations for top destinations to visit in the coming year. In the meantime, read our overview of the world's greatest destinations for 2022 trips.

If you’re ready to start making your 2022 travel daydreams a reality, let us connect you with a local expert in your chosen destination, who'll help you plan your perfect Tailor-Made Trip. They'll take the hassle out of planning so you can focus on what really matters – getting excited about your upcoming adventures.  

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.”

Header image: adventure-seeking mountain-hikers © Shutterstock

Joanne Owen

written by Joanne Owen

updated 8.12.2021

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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