Why long-distance travel is expected to boom  

Travel in 2020 was…well, not great. Many of our grand plans for far-flung adventures were cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

But while this has been disappointing, it’s also meant lots of time to plan a year’s worth of ambitious trips for 2021. And as we’ve been stuck in one place for so long, it’s understandable that many of us really want to push the boat out.  This is why long-distance travel is expected to really take off in 2021.

Why long-distance?

Experts are predicting that as travellers have felt deprived in 2020, they’re more likely to spend big in 2021. Trips may become more extravagant, and focused on exotic, long-haul destinations.

There’s also uncertainty on whether travel restrictions will be imposed again in the future, so holidaymakers are seizing their opportunities when and where they can.

A final but equally important motivating factor in travellers clamouring to book long-distance trips is COVID-19 itself. There’s a sense of ‘escaping’ the virus, choosing remote locations or parts of the world which haven’t experienced such serious outbreaks. After being cooped up for several months during 2020, there’s a real desire to get as far away as possible.

Africa tipped as the ultimate 2021 travel destination

According to Forbes.com and other experts (including the Blank Canvas team), 2021 will be all about Africa.

When the pandemic struck, there were fears about how Africa would cope. Despite some poorly funded healthcare systems and infrastructure, the 55 countries in Africa combined ended up with just 3% of the global deaths from COVID-19 (according to a report in The Telegraph).

This has prompted a significant boost in optimism about travel to Africa, and a corresponding rise in enquiries from eager travellers.


One of the most popular destinations is Namibia, which has a low number of coronavirus cases. Among the country’s many attractive features is its vast expanse of open space. This will be a real tonic after numerous national lockdowns, where we’ve all been stuck within the same four walls.

Namibia has one of the lowest population densities in the world, along with an embarrassment of natural riches. It boasts striking sand dunes and undisturbed beaches along its coast, a wildlife-rich Zambezi region and lush bushland in its famous National Parks.

Think endless skies, fresh air and wide-open space, where you may not see another person for hours. Bliss.

South Africa

Also high on the list of must-visit 2021 destinations is South Africa, which has featured in countless new enquiries relating to future travel. This is another region that lures travellers in with its open spaces, natural habitats and ‘off the beaten track’ experiences.

While South Africa hasn’t fared quite as well as Namibia when it comes to COVID-19 (the country has recently experienced a second wave of coronavirus cases), many are optimistic that 2021 will still be a big year for travel to this beautiful country.

An added draw for sport-loving travellers is the British and Irish Lions Tour 2021. This much-anticipated tour will be held across major rugby venues Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Mbombela in summer 2021.

If you’re planning something epic in 2021, get in touch with Blank Canvas. We can help with everything from finding beautiful COVID-safe destinations to booking incredible experiences, to make your trip truly unforgettable.