Backroads Announces Top Seven Adventure Travel Trends for 2020

Company Sees Increased Interest in Electric-Assist Bikes, Northern Lights Trips, Active River Cruises, Families Traveling with Older Kids and More!
November 7, 2019


Berkeley, CA – November 7, 2019 – Backroads, the leader in active travel, today announced adventure travel trends for 2020, based on early guest bookings and inquiries the company has received. Next year’s hot trends in adventure travel include:

Family Travel with Kids Ages 20 – Early 30s
Backroads has strategically segmented its family offerings – and is now the only outfitter offering four distinct age and life-stage categories. The company caters to the unique needs and interests of each age group, and builds its itineraries, meals and even hotel selection to suit each stage, creating a great dynamic for kids and parents alike. Rolling out in 2020, Backroads Family Trips for 20s & Beyond have been instant winners with guests. In the launch year, there are nearly 100 Biking, Walking & Hiking and Multi-Adventure itineraries to choose from in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Electric-Assist Bikes (eBikes)
Fondly referred to as “the great equalizer,” cyclists looking for a little extra boost and to keep pace with other riders have helped spur enormous growth in the electric-assist bicycle category. eBikes are included on Backroads biking trips in North America, Europe and New Zealand and are a great way to make longer distances or bigger hills more accessible and to help guests traveling with more avid cyclists enjoy a two-wheeled adventure together. In 2020 Backroads expects to host 8,500 guests on eBikes making the company the largest eBike cycling travel company in the world. In response to guest inquiries and feedback, Backroads has developed a custom-designed titanium eBike with the same comfort and stability as its top-rated Touring Bike.

Northern Lights
There has been a spike in interest from guests wanting to travel to Iceland and Lapland for a chance to see the famed Northern Lights, a perennial bucket-list experience. Backroads has added capacity to their active adventures in these regions between November and March, when there is an increased likelihood of opportunities to see this natural light phenomenon.

Unique Hiking Experiences
The Backroads Walking & Hiking segment has been growing steadily for the past five years, and the company has more recently seen a surge in bookings for trips with unique hiking experiences like heli-hiking in the Canadian Rockies, hut-to-hut hiking in Europe and lodge-to-lodge trekking in Peru.

Active Ocean & River Cruises
Backroads in 2020 will take more than 2,000 guests on active ocean and river cruise trips, as these departures gain in popularity. The segment is also seeing strong growth in active cruising for families and Backroads Full-Ship Celebration charter trips, where everyone on board is a Backroads guest, creating a one-of-a-kind journey among fellow active travelers. The combination of living aboard a ship with unique access to off-the-beaten-path bike routes and only unpacking once is enticing to adventure-seekers of all ages.

Private and Custom Trips
No matter the size—small, medium or large—groups often want personalized trips and the flexibility of planning their own itinerary. Backroads has streamlined its private and custom trip booking process, making arranging these trips easier and more economical than ever before, offering families and friends a great chance to travel together on existing itineraries or on trips designed just for their group. Taking over a scheduled departure or working with a Sales Consultant to plan a custom active adventure has steadily grown over the past five years. 

Solar Eclipse
The full solar eclipse in 2018 was a social media sensation and there is expectation that catching a glimpse of the next one, taking place in December 2020, will be just as much of a sought-after experience. Backroads trips to Latin America for the best eclipse watching next winter have been selling fast. The company has added a number of departures to keep up with the demand including Argentina Patagonia Lake District Multi-Adventure Tour and Chile Bike and Multi-Adventure Tours. 

 “2020 is shaping up to be another exciting year for active adventure travel,” said Backroads Founder and President, Tom Hale. “We have seen record growth in new segments like families traveling with kids in their 20s and early 30s as they seek quality time together after the school years.  And there is increased interest in bucket-list experiences like seeing the Northern Lights while traveling actively. Along with expanded active ocean and river cruise offerings, we are also rolling out an incredible lineup of new trips.”

About Backroads 
Backroads was founded in 1979 by Tom Hale and has been a leading innovator in active and adventure travel for over 40 years. The company hosts thousands of guests each year, 75% of whom are repeat guests or referrals from past guests, in hundreds of locations across the globe. Backroads is a founding member of the Adventure Collection. For more information, please visit Or call 800-462-2848 daily, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacific time.