Our Travel Trend Picks for Fall & Winter 2018
It’s hard to believe that 2018 is more than half over!
As the second half of the year unfolds, we’ve been thinking about the trends that are up and coming in the world of travel. Let’s take a look at some of the travel trends we predict will be huge in the very near future.
According to the Evening Standard, searches for eco-friendly hotels are up 125%. Travelers are more concerned than ever about how their consumer choices affect the environment. Another study by Booking.com also found that awareness of eco-friendly accommodation is growing. This makes it easier for global travelers to book “greener” stays.
This also means that many of the world’s best luxury hotels have been focusing their efforts on being as eco-friendly as possible. They are showing the world that being eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean roughing it. Resorts are realizing that they can offer incredible luxury while also designing every aspect of a resort to have a low impact on the environment – what a bonus!
Social media allows us the ability to see photos and other content about lesser-known destinations. We can now experience off-the-beaten-track spots we otherwise might not have heard of through our friends.
For example, destinations such as Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Bhutan and Paraguay have been growing in popularity in recent years. Large travel companies are starting to offer tours in more off the beaten track locations, such as Djibouti and Sarawak, Borneo. Travelers are becoming bolder and more willing to explore places that are a little out of the ordinary.
Forbes recently reported that multi-generational travel is a top trend for 2018. Many families are bringing the grandparents, kids, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more together for group trips. This isn’t just limited to family reunions, either.
Many travel agencies are recognizing this trend. They’re even tailoring their tours to the needs of families who are traveling with younger and older relatives. Some of the options include cruises, safaris and reunion activities for all ages. The ideal multi-generational vacation will include activities that appeal to everyone in the family.
Cultural travel experiences such as cooking classes, food tours and history tours are another popular trend. Travelers are interested in learning more about the local culture when they visit a destination. They are seeking an experience that is unique and authentic. Let’s face it – some of us go to a destination just for the food shown there on Instagram!
Tour operators who focus on creating unique, interesting, niche activities that show tourists a glimpse of what life is like for locals will be able to make the most of this trend.
More than ever, travelers are completing their bookings on mobile devices. According to the largest Travel Flash Report by Criteo, over one third of people now use a mobile device to book a hotel room and mobile accounts for 45% of bookings for OTAs. More people are actually booking their entire stays via their mobile devices, as users become more comfortable with completing large purchases on their phones.
As the shift to mobile continues, hotels and booking platforms are making sure mobile remains top of mind. This means creating mobile websites that are easy for customers to use anywhere, anytime.
Expert Travel Agents
When it became easier for most consumers to book their own travel online, many people predicted that travel agents would become obsolete. However, although they don’t have exactly the same role as before – the expert travel agent profession is still alive and well.
There has been a resurgence in the demand for real expertise when it comes to booking travel. People know that they can arrange their trip online by themselves if they want to, but they seek out travel agents for the expert advice and custom trip design expertise they have to offer. This is especially the case when it comes to complex trips or group trips. (Sometimes, they can even provide perks or access to certain “unavailable” flights or hotels!)
Another popular travel trend this year is wellness retreats. From surfing breaks to cycling tours to hiking trip and yoga retreats, health-related travel is experiencing a surge of popularity. Tropical destinations will be a huge draw in the coming colder months.
Many of the popular resorts and hotels are starting to offer wellness getaways featuring activities, spa treatments and more. They are offering the opportunity to improve your health with exercise and healthy food, with a little bit of pampering thrown in at the same time.
Smart Hotel Rooms
As Skift reported last year, some of the largest hotel chains are adding voice-activated devices to their hotel rooms. This allows guests to turn the lights and the music on, queue up their favorite entertainment and much more – all with simple voice commands or a smartphone app.
Hilton Hotels has already released a smart “Connected Room” and Marriott Hotels has also begun developing their smart hotel room. What will they think of next?
Another recent trend are staycations. Many people are starting to plan getaways in nearby locations, or even right in their own backyard. This trend avoids the stress of long haul flights and is all about being a tourist in your own hometown.
Staycations can save money and be a lot easier to plan. Plus, there’s no need to worry about jet-lag. It can also be a great way to learn about interesting attractions and great restaurants in your surrounding area.
What travel trends are you thinking about this year?
What are your thoughts on our travel trend picks for fall and winter 2018? What other trends have you noticed? Let us know in the comments!