New year, new travel trends to keep in mind! If you're planning an adventure this year, expect more food, more volunteer work, and more thrill-seeking escapades, among other things.
Here are five trends that are going to stand out in 2018:
1. Online travel agents will book more than just lodging arrangements.
To compete with other agencies, online booking sites are expanding to include activities like local tours and excursions. According to travel research firm, Phocuswright, many of the big names in the industry, including Airbnb, Expedia, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com, are investing time and resources in making it easier to book your experiences online. For example, on TripAdvisor, you are able to click on the “Things to Do” tab after you select your travel destination. Now, you can book a flight to Paris and an all-inclusive tour of the Eiffel Tower all in one click!
2. Hotels will try to gain a competitive edge.
In addition, hotel companies will fight to take back their business from online travel agents and booking sites. These days, “home-sharing” sites like Airbnb seem to be creeping up on the traditional hotel business. In order to compete, hotels will continue to add alternative lodging options to their variety of accommodations, offer customer loyalty rewards programs and perks, and focus on direct booking through their companies.
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3. Extreme vacations will be the new status quo.
With more millennials traveling and more thirst for the “experience,” thrill-seeking adventures will become mainstream this year. According to Travel Channel, the most popular “extreme vacations” include things like helicopter skiing (or “heli-skiing”), canyon-jumping, white-water rafting, and rock climbing.
4. People will travel for the purpose of food.
Experts say food will become the “next big thing” because tourists are looking for culinary experiences now more than ever. According to the Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, tourists consider food experiences just as much as they consider climate, accommodation, and scenery when traveling. In 2018, travelers will continue to base their travel decisions-at least partially-on the types of food and beverage options that are available.
5. “Voluntourism” trips will increase.
Traveling in order to volunteer your time is also a trend that will continue to thrive in 2018. This year, many tourists will double as volunteers at in order to help local communities abroad. Experts say tourists who choose this path are most commonly involved in local activities such as building housing, teaching or providing medical care.
If you’re packing your bags and jetting out into the world this year, keep these things in mind. You never know when you’ll need a new travel idea or some inspiration for a future trip.
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