It’s the same with trends in travel as it is in fashion; they come and go - perhaps a little slower, but still. Travel trends are very interesting to follow, as they tell a lot about society and how we perceive each other and the world. Just like in fashion. In 2018, two of the buzz words in the industry are ‘spirituality’ and ‘independent travel’. Learn more about these exciting trends below.
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First of all: get comfortable with the word millenials. This group of young people are the trend-setting ones. They influence fashion, travel and lifestyle more than you can imagine - and guess what; they’re also the fastest growing segment of consumers, at least when it comes to travel. So what is a millennial exactly? In short: people who are born between the early 1980’s and mid-1990’s. Perhaps that’s you? If so, you probably want to make a difference in the world. You want to enrich your life through meaningful experiences, e.g. connecting with nature and other cultures. You have a very different approach to travel than the generations before you. Also, female travelers (like myself) seem to be the dominant ones in the millennial segment; we’re bolder and more adventurous than ever (yay!)
1. Independent travel
It has been popular for several years now to plan your own trip - not depending on travel agents or agencies. This year, the trend will continue to grow, as travelers from all over the world choose to be in charge of every aspect of their holiday; from planning of destination and booking of flight tickets to cultural experiences and guided tours. Some prefer not to plan anything at all, which gives more room to surprises. All-inclusive holidays and travel agencies, who take care of all your needs, are so last season according to trend researchers.
2. Active holidays
Adventure is a word on the rise in the travel industry. Not only do travelers wish to learn a new sport while traveling; many of us also wish to improve a certain skill, e.g. wind surfing, hiking or yoga practice. Being physically active is a big plus for modern-day travelers, who are bored with chilling on the beach and playing tourists all day. An example of an active holiday? Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland or trekking the Andes mountains.
We care more and more about the authentic travel experience than the facilities we have when arriving to a new destination. “What could enrich my life right now?” seem to be a question many travelers ask themselves these days. If you immerse yourself in local culture - getting to know local customs and traditions - you’re a successful traveler (according to 2018’s trends). Modern technology connects us more than ever to the world around us. It makes us global citizens, who can access places we were never able to access just 20 years ago. Still, we’re more emotionally disconnected than ever. More and more people feel secluded and lonely; perhaps that’s why we crave authentic travel experiences so much? We want to engage with traditional cultures around the world, eat their food and learn their languages. An example of this could be visiting buddhist temples in Thailand or traveling by train through Eastern Europe.
I didn’t put it on top of the list, but perhaps I should’ve….cause spiritual travel is probably the biggest and fastest growing travel trend in 2018! It’s a mix of authentic and active holidays, only spiritual travel puts the traveler in focus; who are we? What are we made of? This travel trend focus on inner exploration. Yoga and meditation retreats all over the world are booming in popularity as are journeys to Asia, e.g. Himalayas, India, Nepal and Bhutan. Here, travelers can trek, meditate, eat healthy, reflect on life and become better and wiser versions of themselves; this travel form is merely a personal investment than a ‘superficial’ experience. Suddenly, traveling went from being a mean of pleasure to a life-changing experience. How interesting!
5. Less explored destinations
“We’ll always have Paris”. Sure. But once you’ve been to Paris (and Barcelona and Prague and New York) dozens of times, you probably feel the need to try something new. That’s why less explored destinations such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, Chile, Columbia and Jamaica as well as African and Eastern European countries are hotter than ever. While travelers still have love for the traditional destinations (that never disappoint), we want to get off the beaten path to truly explore. This is closely connected to the authentic travel experience.
Over to you: which travel trend seems most appealing to you? And where do you plan on going in 2018? Feel free to share your thoughts below 🙂