Airbnb has looked into its all-seeing crystal ball to come up with travel predictions for 2020. The biggest prediction from the accommodation website so far? It seems that everyone going small this year.
According to Airbnb, traveling small will be big in 2020 – meaning that travelers will be looking to maximize their travels while also minimizing their impact.
What else is coming for this year? Here are the trends that are having their moment in 2020, according to Airbnb.
Travelers Will Spend More Time Outdoors
Travelers who took part in the survey noted they’re increasingly interested in connecting with nature on their vacations. Thirty percent of Americans say they want to take more outdoorsy trips and have more natural experiences. Airbnb explains that a lot of nature-loving travelers are answering the call to the wild this year. Many people (a quarter of Americans) are planning on embarking on adventurous trips in the great outdoors.
And when people say they want to get out, they mean it. Airbnb notes that Igloos are some of the top trending listings on Airbnb this year. The Igloos are followed by campsites that are preferred by the Baby Boomers.
Travelers Will Spend More on Experiences Than Other Things
According to Airbnb’s trend survey for 2020, 57% of Americans say they prefer to spend their money on experiences over other things. In addition, 37% of Americans say they plan on increasing their spending on experiences in 2020.
Travelers Will Seek Out Trips That Are More History-centered
Another survey conducted by Airbnb found that 32% of Americans would most like to learn about history and culture this year. Airbnb history experiences have increased 271% in supply and 116% in bookings globally. Homes listed on Airbnb featuring specific historic keywords (i.e., historic, era, WWI, etc.) have already been booked 50,000 times for the year so far.
Travelers Want to Take More Conscious Food-Focused Trips
With plant-based food alternatives, mindful dietary habits are at the forefront of many travelers’ minds.
Airbnb found out that experiences that include vegan options are seeing 579% growth in supply, while those with vegetarian options are seeing a 570% growth spurt. Overall, culinary travel remains very popular on the platform, with 35% of Americans saying they most want to spend their time enjoying food experiences while on vacation. Now all they need to do is find a food-focused tiny home in the wilderness, and we would be all set.
45 Things About Living in Denmark That Make Us Jealous of Its Citizens
They Got Credit for Danishes
The first item on this list is a little shocking — Danishes aren’t even originally from Denmark! They were first made in the 1800s in Austria, and they were brought to Denmark by Austrian bakers. Danish people don’t even call them danishes, but rather wienerbrød, or Vienna Bread.
Even though the idea came from Austrian bakers, Danishes are now most definitely a Danish staple, enjoyed by Danes and brought around the world by immigrants.
Garbage Cans for Bikers
Danes are prodigious bikers, and biking is a popular method of transportation even during the cold winter months. Much of Danish culture revolves around this pastime, including these tilted garbage cans. They’re tilted so you can throw trash in them as you’re riding by on your bicycle.
If you’ve ever been annoyed by the fact that you have to stop your bike to throw out whatever garbage is in your hand, make sure you experience these cool trash cans the next time you bike through Copenhagen!
Commuting by Bike
As mentioned above, biking is a very popular mode of transportation throughout Denmark. In fact, there are even bike lanes in most major cities, as well as extensive paths and tracks around the country. 90% of Danish adults own a bike!
It must be easy to stay healthy with such a popular commuting method being so exercise-intensive. We wouldn’t feel so bad about the occasional Danish if we biked to work every day!
Danish New Year
The Danes have some unusual customs, but that’s what makes them fun! One crazy tradition is on New Year’s Eve, when Danish folk throw breakable plates against their neighbors’ and friends’ front doors. It’s a great country to own a porcelain shop for sure!
The more broken plates you have on your front porch on New Year’s Day, the more friends you have and the better fortune you’ll have for the next year. Small consolation when you’re cleaning up!
Witch Burning on Midsummer’s Eve
Another fun tradition the Danes have is to burn a witch (not a real one these days!) on Midsummer’s Eve. The reasoning for this seems to vary, but the practice is said to have started in the 1800s as a way to ward away evil spirits for the rest of the year.
It’s celebrated on June 23rd every year. Denmark, of course, had witch trials with the rest of Europe in the 1600s, but that doesn’t seem to be related to this custom.
Clean Harbor Swimming
The thought of swimming in most harbors in U.S. cities is probably not appealing to most people, as they’re almost universally filthy. That’s not the case in Copenhagen, however, where their harbor is clean enough to swim in year-round.
This is great for a citizenry that really seems to enjoy active outdoor activities of all types. If only we had this kind of option in American cities as well.
Danish Easter Letters
The Danes also have a fun tradition for Easter, where they make elaborate letters like the ones seen below. They look similar to snowflakes you might cut out for Christmas, but they include a little poem that you write to your friends. You have to make sure it rhymes, though!
They’re called gækkebreve, or snowdrop letters, and they’re anonymously written. However, you put dots at the bottom, corresponding to the number of letters in your name, to give a hint!
They Have a Royal Family
Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, similar to Great Britain, so they have a hereditary royal family as well. In Denmark, the ruling family is from the Glücksburg, and the queen is currently Queen Margrethe II. She has held the throne since 1972.
The Danish royal family is a similar institution to the British royal family, with many duties and responsibilities pertaining to being ceremonial heads of state.
Oldest Flag in the World
Denmark claims to have the oldest known flag in the world, with their red and white flag — the Dannebrog — having an 800-year history. According to legend, it fell from the sky during the Battle of Lindanise against the Russians in the year 1219, and it helped the Danes win the battle.
The style of this flag features a Nordic Cross, which is used by most of the Scandinavian countries including Sweden, Iceland, Norway, and Finland. Denmark had it first, though!
Home of Fairytales
Another thing that Denmark has going for it is being a fairytale capital of the world, with Hans Christian Andersen calling it his home. Such tales as The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, and The Ugly Duckling all have their origins in Denmark.
There are plenty of allusions to Hans Christian Andersen across the country — with statues, street names, and other monuments dedicated to this famous literary figure.
They Have a Happiness Museum
For a country that’s known for having a very happy populace, they probably have a lot of things to go in their Happiness Museum, the museum that recently opened in Copenhagen. It aims to share the secrets of Danish happiness, which is currently ranked second in terms of the happiest countries in the world.
Scandinavian countries are consistently ranked highly in terms of national happiness, and the Happiness Museum is trying to help visitors understand why that might be.
Home of the Lego
Yet another reason to be jealous of Denmark is that they’re home to one of the greatest toys on Earth — the Lego. If you love these little building bricks, you should definitely make the journey up to Billund and check out Legoland!
Legos as we know and love them today were first created in 1949, and they quickly became a popular play toy throughout America, as well as the rest of the world. They’re still very popular today.
Hygge, Danish Coziness
A lot of Americans love winter because of all the things you can do during it, like curling up under a blanket next to a fire in your warm socks while cuddling with your partner and watching a Christmas movie. They have a term for this feeling of coziness in Danish — Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah).
If winter is the time you really come to life because of this feeling of comfort and coziness, you should take some pages out of the Danish book and find out how they embody this term.
The Danes don’t let a little ice keep them from enjoying boating, as evidenced by one of their popular sports, iceboating. In this sport — during which professional racers can reach speeds up to 90 mph — a team of several people hop into a DN iceboat and go flying across icy surfaces.
It doesn’t have a long history as a sport, but it’s popular in northern European countries in particular. We don’t recommend it for the faint of heart, though!
Really Old Amusement Parks
Denmark is home to not one, but the two oldest amusement parks still in operation today. Dyrehavsbakken was started in 1583 as it was used by entertainers and hawkers when a nearby natural spring started attracting large crowds for its alleged healing properties.
Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world, was started in 1843. Both parks have a wide variety of rides and attractions and are a can’t-miss part of any trip to Denmark.
Pakkeleg — Christmas Dice
The Danish have a fun Christmas tradition called Pakkeleg, which is a dice game you play with presents. You have a variety of inexpensive, funny gifts wrapped and you take turns rolling dice. If you roll a six, you get to choose a present.
Once all presents have been claimed, you have another timed round where if you get a six again, you get to steal a present from someone else. Sounds a little like White Elephant Gift Exchange!
The Royal Life Guard
Without royalty in the U.S., the closest we get to royal guards are the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, who admittedly are a wonderful sight to behold. Since they do have a royal family, the Danish also has an elite, well-trained guard — the Royal Life Guard.
Among their ceremonial duties includes an annual parade every November, when the ruling monarch presents one of the soldiers from the unit with the “Queen’s Clock” for exceptional service.
Vikings at the Crosswalk
Another fun feature of life in Denmark is the fact that crosswalk lights don’t use a boring, featureless green person. Instead, the Danes embrace their heritage by featuring a little Viking character that tells you whether or not it’s safe to cross.
We’re not sure that Vikings would actually feel the need to wait to cross a street — instead, they’d probably just rush across. Still, it’s a cool feature to look out for if you get the chance to visit!
The Little Mermaid
If you love Disney’s The Little Mermaid, you should definitely try to make it to Denmark, which is the home of the original story. You can even find a life-size bronze statue in Solvang, Denmark, where it was installed in 1913 by Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen.
The statue has actually been the subject of a lot of vandalism over the years, but it’s always cleaned up for the next round of tourists.
They’re Coffee Drinkers
If you love coffee, you’d feel right at home in Denmark, where the average citizen puts down four cups a day. They have a rich coffee culture as well, with their cafes trying to capture that feeling of hygge we described above. Going to a coffee shop is an experience there.
Some coffee shops will feature old books lining the walls, off-centered pictures, and only a couple of tables to create that cozy, at-home feel.
Always Close to the Sea
The way Denmark is laid out is such that you won’t be able to get away from the ocean. In fact, any spot in Denmark is no farther than 32 miles from the coastline. While beach paradise may not initially come to mind when you think of Denmark, it does have plenty of stunning coastline views.
The proximity to the water made ancient Danes a seafaring folk, the Vikings, a heritage that permeates Danish culture today.
Santas Brave Frigid Waters
Every year in July, Santa Clauses from all over the world venture to the cold waters of Bakken for an annual Santa Claus Congress — where they network, share tips, and prepare for Christmas. They also take part in the annual footbath in the icy Danish waters off the coast.
This is your chance to see a bunch of Santa Claus lookalikes in festive holiday swimsuits, freezing their beards off and having a great time.
You Can Still Be a Viking
If being Santa Claus isn’t your thing, you can still try your hand at being a Viking — without all the pillaging and killing, of course. If you head to Roskilde Fjord and the Viking Museum, you can dress up like a Viking and enjoy a sail on a longship during the summer.
You’ll get some hands-on training before you’re a full-fledged member of the crew, and take a sail on an authentic recreation of a Viking longship. Have fun!
Floating Art Festival
Danes have a special relationship with the water, so it’s no surprise they have an annual floating art festival in Vejle. Each year, about a dozen new displays are set out to sail on the lake — where paddlers, kayakers, and swimmers can catch a glimpse.
There are even 90-minute tours you can take by canoe, in English, to get an up-close view and description of each piece. New pieces are featured each year.
Floating Islands in Copenhagen
If floating art isn’t your thing, take a journey over to Copenhagen and check out the floating man-made islands that are there purely for relaxing. Each of these unique islands is able to be moved and grouped in different ways to keep it fresh. There’s even a tree growing on it!
The government plans to launch two more islands by 2021, so there will be plenty of space. The Danes are lucky they get to experience this every day!
They Own Greenland
Greenland has its own local government, but it’s a part of the kingdom of Denmark. They also have representatives in the Danish parliament. Officially the world’s largest island, Greenland is home to only about 56,000 people.
It’s also extremely cold most of the year! Only about 20% of the landmass is habitable, and fishing and hunting are necessary for survival.
Don’t Be a Jaywalker!
In the U.S., you can usually cross at a crosswalk if it’s clear, even if the walk light is red. In Denmark, however, this is a big no-no, and you can be fined over $150 if you walk through a red pedestrian light. Be super careful when you’re up there!
Just like with the green pedestrian light, red pedestrian lights often look like Vikings, so you shouldn’t miss them even if you’re not paying close attention.
Denmark Is Really Flat
Your parents wouldn’t be able to tell you how they walked uphill both ways to school in Denmark, mainly because Denmark proper is very flat. In fact, their largest “mountain” — Møllehøj — is only 171 meters tall, making it pretty much just a hill.
That’s one of the reasons biking is so popular in Denmark; no big hills! Driving through Denmark must resemble driving through Kansas.
More Pigs Than People
The Danes love their sausages, so it makes sense that they’d have more pigs than people in their country. In fact, there were 12 million pigs in 2019, and there are only about 5.8 million people living in the country, so there are around two pigs for every person.
On average, Danes eat about 46 sausages a year per person, so that’s a lot of pigs. They have a very healthy meat industry, and they’re one of the largest pig exporters in the world.
Find the 6 Forgotten Giants
If you’re looking for a mystery to solve in the outer limits of Copenhagen, you can wander the woods and find the six forgotten giants. Trolls are a popular creature in Danish mythology, and you can find all six of these giants — built from scrap wood — in the municipalities surrounding the city.
Finding all six giants is a fun way to spend your day, and the lucky people who live in Denmark can go on this treasure hunt with their kids whenever they want.
They Can Ski in Copenhagen
Since they don’t have many mountains in their country, the Danes have to get creative when it comes to skiing. As a way to take advantage of the space in Copenhagen, they created a ski ramp on a large power plant to give the public a way to enjoy the great outdoors.
The ski ramp isn’t covered with snow, but rather almost a turf-like grassy surface. That shouldn’t stop you from hitting the slopes and having a great time, though!
Winter Swimming Festival
One thing you might notice about the Danes is that they don’t really dress very warm, even when it’s below freezing out. They don’t mind the cold much, so it’s really no surprise that they love ice swimming just as much as the next Scandinavian person at the winter swimming festival in Skagen.
Going swimming after you take a dip in a sauna or hot tub is said to be very invigorating, and it’s one of the many ways Danish people try and keep a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Credit for Great Danes
It seems like the Danish were able to get credit for some of the greatest things in the world, like Danishes. Add Great Danes to the list, which were actually originally bred in Germany. They’re actually called German dogs in Germany, but they’ve become known as Great Danes in America.
We’re a little jealous that the Danish got credit for these majestic dogs, which can stand up to 32 inches at the shoulder and are among the largest dogs on the planet.
No Crazy Baby Names
If you’ve ever gotten annoyed by some of the crazy baby names you come across on a daily basis, you won’t have to worry about that in Denmark. There are regulations that require you to get your potential baby name approved so you don’t add a sixteenth variation on the spelling of Katherine or something.
It’s not too strict of a requirement, but it still helps prevent some of the crazier, or more offensive, baby names we sometimes see in the U.S.
They Don’t Show Off Wealth
One thing to note about the Danish is that they’re not prone to flashy displays of wealth like people in the rest of the world might be. As such, you might not even recognize the average millionaire if you walk by one on the street, since they’re probably dressed the same way you are.
In fact, Danish fashion in general is pretty understated. It must be nice to live in a country where you don’t have to keep up with the Joneses all the time!
Leave the Kids Outside
In the larger cities, Danish parents walk a lot with their kids in strollers or carriages, and they’ll often leave them outside while they run into a café or corner store to do their business. In other parts of the world, you might get arrested for a lot less!
We’re a little jealous that Denmark is such a peaceful place that parents really don’t have to worry about their kid being unattended for a little bit. Plus, getting some fresh air never hurt anyone!
The Cinnamon Challenge
Ok, the cinnamon challenge is a little different in Denmark. For starters, it’s not really called the challenge — it’s more of a fun tradition. If you’re unmarried on your 25th birthday, your family and friends will sit you down and throw cinnamon on you. A lot of cinnamon.
The tradition dates back hundreds of years to spice salesmen, who would be single for a long time because they traveled so much.
You Can’t Hurt Bats
For some reason, bats are a protected species in Denmark and you can’t mess with them at all. You can’t poison them, trap them, or even touch them without breaking the law. As one Danish family learned the hard way, this could make you end up losing your house.
The story goes that some bats took up residence in the family’s house, and they couldn’t do anything to get rid of them, so they moved out after a year. Who knew bats could be so pesky?
Fastelavn Cats in a Barrel
Another fun tradition the Danes have is to hit the cats out of the barrel on Fastelavn, a holiday that starts before Lent. Danish kids actually used to hit a barrel with a cat in it as a superstitious way to guard against evil, but now, the barrel is just filled with candy, like a pinata.
On Fastelavn, kids also dress up in costumes and go door-to-door for candy, much like American Halloween. Sounds like it’s a really great time for the kids!
Super High Taxes
Danes have a very high-income tax rate, one of the highest in the world. However, their taxes pay for niceties like universal health care, free college education, and paid maternity leave. At least it goes to something worthwhile!
Even though they pay a small fortune in taxes every year, Danish people are still able to be almost the happiest people in the world.
Weird Bacon Law
On the subject of weird laws, Denmark has a few. One of the strangest laws on the books is that it’s illegal to eat raw bacon — but only during a full moon. Maybe they’re worried about werewolves up there? We’re not quite sure what the reasoning is, but it sounds superstitious to us!
This just leaves so many questions, like why is it legal to eat raw bacon any other day? How could people be sure it was a full moon? Do they have an inspector who goes around on full moons to catch people?
Illegal to Charge for Water
We couldn’t help throwing in one more weird law that makes it fun to be Danish — it’s illegal for a restaurant to charge for tap water. This makes it great to be a tourist in Denmark, since many other countries will charge even for a bottle of tap water.
Every country has its strange laws, and Denmark is no exception to that rule. Hey, at least this one saves you some money!
Amazing Sea Sculptures
If you appreciate the arts, Denmark should be on your bucket list. Another amazing sculpture they have there is called “Man Meets the Sea,” which is made up of four giant carvings of men on the coast, staring out to sea. It’s a very popular tourist attraction.
These majestic sculptures were finished in 1995 by Danish sculptor Svend Wiig Hansen to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the city of Esbjerg.
St. Martin’s Day
The Danes have a lot of fun celebrations, not least of all being St. Martin’s Day in November. On this day, kids dress up and carry lanterns around their neighborhood, and the traditional meal is roasted goose. Nowadays, however, a lot of people eat duck instead.
St. Martin’s Day is actually celebrated throughout Europe and in some parts of the U.S., and celebrates the feast of St. Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier turned French bishop.
A Walkable World Map
As we’ve already mentioned, Denmark is home to some incredible art. One man, Søren Poulsen, worked on Verdenskortet from 1944 to 1969 all by himself, building it entirely out of stone and soil. It’s a replica map of the world, complete with the geographical features of each of the seven continents.
This is yet another example of the value that Danes put on art, it’s a popular tourist attraction as well. Hopefully, you get to check it out yourself someday!