Everyone wants to take a trip that will provide lasting memories for years to come. Whether you travel with a backpack and no maps or with a tightly planned itinerary, most intrepid wanderers want to go somewhere that has vitality. One way to get a vacation experience that might be unlike any other is to venture to a locale that is not yet firmly established as a tourist destination, but may soon become one.

New up-and-coming destinations are born every day. From planning and researching hideaways in another country to finding the next best-kept secret within the United States, keeping track of which places might be the next flashpoint of travel is all just a matter of knowing what to look for. This article will go over six key indicators that let you know when a destination is on the ascent and how to get there before the crowds.

Artists and Musicians Lead the Way

Affordable rent is important to most working artists and musicians. For this reason, groups of creatives are often the first to sniff out cool places before they become a “happening” cultural hub on any travel blog. Once artists and musicians have taken up residence in a given locality, others tend to start flocking in to further populate that creative cove. 


In addition to artists and musicians, you might also keep track of where the young people in any region are concentrated. Younger people tend to seek more affordable housing for the same reasons that artists and musicians do. Subsequently, you can often trace trending areas of any region by knowing where the younger crowd is hanging out.

Renovations Suggest Growth Potential

Paying attention to destinations that are undergoing big renovations is a smart way to tell ahead of time that the destination will soon be on your travel bucket list

Old town renovations on a regional scale show that either the government, private investors, or both believe this area is worth the investment. It is uncommon for big-time money to be spent on regenerating areas that have little to offer. Renovations show that a destination has potential for growth — as in, “If you build it, they will come.” 

Research Smaller Towns Next to Popular Cities

When it comes to globetrotting, start by viewing towns and municipalities that are near very popular areas or capital cities, such as black sand beaches or Michelin-ranked restaurants. Also, any area with an Olympic history or future is generally rife to become a new hot spot.


Businesses Bring Travel Booms

Finding out that a major corporation or chain has decided to set up shop in a little-known area can give you a serious clue that this area is not going to be little-known for much longer. Very often, large companies will move to a given region because of its open economy or to situate themselves before what they perceive to be a boom in the market. 

Examples of this phenomenon can be seen in places like Park City, Utah, when it became the official home of the Sundance Film Festival, and Cupertino, California after Apple moved in. Keep up with where big business is headed and you will likely be one step ahead of everyone in terms of travel plans.

Another good rule of thumb regarding the influence of businesses on travel desirability is to look at how many businesses of any size inhabit an area. Monitor regions that show growth on both ends of the size spectrum. Quaint coffee shops, mom-and-pop storefronts, and general commerce is always a good indicator that an area might be up and coming on the travel map.

Sustainability and Public Transportation

Have you read about any cities that are undergoing large-scale sustainability overhauls or transportation improvements? These places are sure to be up-and-coming destinations. As green-minded architecture and carbon-neutral culture are becoming the expectation of savvy travelers everywhere, areas are adapting as rapidly as possible to promote interest. Look for towns that have a great public transit system or extensive bike paths. 


Check out vacation rentals in areas of interest to see what kind of sustainable amenities or efforts are in place for them. If you are a foodie, investigate the vegetarian and locally sourced restaurants in a given area — such information can tell you much about the likelihood of this area making next year’s list of top places to explore. Examples of destinations that became must-visit spots because of their ability to mesh clean living with affordable transportation are Copenhagen, Denmark, and Portland, Oregon. Overall, where there’s a heavy focus on minimizing waste and making travel a way to help appreciate more of an area’s natural beauty, you will find places that are likely to attract the attention of future visitors.

Follow the Digital Nomads

While following anyone may seem counterintuitive during an exploration of how to get someplace first, tracking digital nomad trends can truly lead you to the next great getaway zone. Digital influencers have put everywhere from Bali to Budapest on the world’s radar of cool travel destinations, largely because this particular group of professionals requires exactly what many of us want in an up-and-coming locale: cheap or free Wi-Fi, lovely architecture, pristine beaches, and a hip underground live music scene. 

As remote work has ramped up in popularity, keeping an ear to the ground on where the digital nomads are congregating can give you a heads-up on what is soon to be hip. In view of the changes that have come with 2020, many areas are offering free or extended travel visas designed to attract digital nomad workers. Some places have also tailored travel programs toward being more inclusive of nomads in the last year. Take advantage of the travel trends they instigate and there is a good chance you will be the first in your group of friends to visit the newest must-visit hiking trails or snorkeling spots.

Explore New Destinations With VacationRenter

The internet is your best friend when it comes to travel planning. Although trendiness is an ever-shifting title, you can use online resources to your advantage if you want to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to brand-new destinations. You can easily stay up to date on travel trends by checking in with VacationRenter on one of our many digital platforms. 

VacationRenter offers the “guide in your pocket” style of travel advice, consistently updated trend watches, and interactive maps that let you explore off-the-beaten-path locales with just your fingertips. You can also check prices, set alerts for areas that interest you, and visit our blog for first-hand travel accounts by other adventurers. Check out VacationRenter today and be one step ahead when it comes to knowing about the next up-and-coming travel destination!