Being constantly on the lookout for travel trends goes hand in hand with being a travel blogger. And whether you love or hate trends, one thing’s for certain: they’re hard to ignore. Each year we see a different set of travel trends develop, driven by our changing world and our behaviour in it. So what’s set to be big in travel this year? Here are the top 2018 travel trends you should be taking notice of (and planning your trips around)!
The biggest 2018 travel trends:
The move towards ultra long-haul flights
Pretty much everyone prefers a direct flight, am I right? As aviation technology has advanced, fuel efficiency has improved. This means that commercial flights have the ability to travel further than ever before. Last year, we saw the first ultra long-haul routes added to the flight maps of some of the world’s biggest airlines. Come 2018, we’re going to see current record broken. From March this year, Singapore Airlines will launch the longest commercial flight in the world, a nonstop route between Singapore and Newark Airport, taking 19 hours. In March, Qantas is also due to launch its non-stop flight from Perth to London, the first direct flight from Australia to Europe, with a flight time of 17 hours.
Emerging destinations open new frontiers
Due partly to social media, travellers are being exposed to new destinations they wouldn’t traditionally see in the pages of brochures or on the windows of travel agencies. With the world more accessible than ever before, adventurous travellers are keen to wander unknown lands. Kazakhstan, is one such example of a rapidly emerging destination. This has been cemented by the opening of the Hilton Astana and the group’s plans to expand its presence in the country with two additional hotel openings this year. Other destinations to keep your eye on this year include Mozambique, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Georgia.
A world of wellness
Given that more and more people are prioritising healthy living, it’s only natural that we’re seeing a travel trend develop around health and wellness experiences. Not only are active adventures including surf trips, hiking expeditions and cycling tours trending, but so are detox and restorative experiences such as yoga, meditation and spiritual retreats. In addition, given that more travellers are concerned about looking after their physical and mental wellbeing, we’re seeing hotel groups incorporate wellness into their packages to offer a more enriching and revitalising hotel experience.
Holidaying at home on a staycation
‘Staycation’ has become somewhat of a buzzword in the travelsphere lately. As life becomes busier and budgets become tighter, many people are looking to book short getaways closer to home. People still want to feel like they’ve had a break but without the stress and planning that often comes with it. But while they’ll want to stay close to home, they still want to experience something new and perhaps discover a part of their region that they haven’t before. We can expect to see more unique accommodation offerings to entice people think local – more glamping experiences, treehouses and cabins.
The rise of last-chance tourism
Quite depressingly, we’re seeing more and more travellers flocking to areas that are endangered by climate change. We’re seeing a rise in ‘last-chance tourism’ to destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef, Antarctica, the Everglades and Madagascar. It’s an unfortunate paradox that the increase in tourism to these destinations is actually contributing to their demise. Sustainable tourism initiatives will be key if we want to preserve these precious places.
In search of under-crowded Europe
The well-trodden tourist trail in Western Europe isn’t going to dry up any time soon. In fact, more visitors than ever are pouring into the continent. What this means is that many destinations are now unbearably overcrowded. This has resulted in a crackdown on visitors to some of Europe’s most touristy cities, including anti-tourism protests, caps on numbers and even bans on selfie sticks. While it’s hard to imagine that visitors will turn their backs on the likes of Italy, Spain and France, 2018 will see more visitors venturing to explore Europe’s under-the-radar destinations including Poland, Slovenia and Cyprus.
Related: Avoid These Common Scams in Europe!
A new era of cruising
People generally fall into one of two camps when it comes to cruises: they either love ’em or hate ’em. While the number of people choosing to spend their holiday on a cruise has increased steadily over the years, many travellers still view cruises as either party boats or floating retirement villages. There’s a new era of cruise travel developing though that will see smaller boats and a greater focus on experiential travel. Expect to see more itineraries based around cultural immersion experiences, adventure, food and voluntourism.
In search of the local
More than ever before, travellers want to experience destinations authentically and are seeking out local experiences wherever they can. They’re turning their backs on tourist traps in favour of exploring real neighbourhoods and learning about a destination through the locals that live there. Indeed, Pinterest has revealed that searches for ‘local travel’ are up 146%. Airbnb has tapped into this market with its launch of ‘Experiences’, which are short, bookable activities hosted by locals.
Tip: claim your Airbnb discount here.
Going mobile to book travel
While we’ve been using our mobile devices to research travel destinations for years now, up until recently, we’ve always preferred to actually book our trips using our computers. This is changing though. As more and more tourism websites become optimised for mobile, consumers are seeing less of a need to switch devices to book. In 2018 we’re going to see a huge increase in the number of travel bookings happening on mobile. In the next few years, expect to see mobile travel bookings overtake traditional desktop bookings.
Solo travel will become more accessible
Solo travel exploded last year and there are no signs of it slowing down any time soon. What we’ll start to see in 2018, however, is the travel industry become more accommodating to those going solo. Tour companies dedicated solely to solo travel are springing up, single supplements are disappearing and, for the first time, Intrepid Travel have launched a solo travel tour range, catering specifically to those wanting to travel but not having anyone to go with.
Looking for more posts like this to inspire your travels for the year ahead? Read these next:
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- The Best Places to See the Northern Lights Around the World
- 5 European Cities That Are Worth Visiting Year Round
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What do you think some other 2018 travel trends will be?