With the new year fast approaching, it’s time to delve into some of the trends that will determine how, where, and with whom travel enthusiasts fulfill their wanderlust for 2018. Here to be somewhat of your booking agent is Jessica Bisesto. The senior travel editor at TravelPirates recently talked with PopSugar about the popular places and experiences expected to be in-vogue next year. From trips geared towards multigenerational families to solo journeys, consider this top-10 list your personal itinerary. Trust us, you’ll enjoy checking off every single one of these adventures from your travel bucket list.
1. Two-for-One Destinations
Here’s to making the most use out of your limited vacation time. Now more than ever, travel-goers are double-booking trips. Instead of spending the entire vacation in one locale, travelers are squeezing as much as they can into one trip.
"Even if people still might not have a lot of time off, we're seeing Americans get more creative with their itineraries, booking trips that allow them to experience two destinations in one go,” Bisesto told PopSugar. “Google Trends has reported a 32 percent increase in users searching for multiple cities or countries on one ticket in the last few years, which indicates that this trend isn't going anywhere anytime soon."
2. Camping Meets Luxury
The concept of “glamping” (camping + glamour) is still mainstream, with no signs of slowing down in 2018. For those who want to experience the feeling of sleeping outdoors and exploring all that Mother Nature has to offer, without sacrificing things like indoor plumbing and kitchens, glamping is the way to go. Not to mention, sleeping in cabin or a yurt off-the-beaten path is far more affordable than a luxurious hotel suite. Bisesto agreed, stating that those who go glamping are treated to “a luxurious feeling of exclusivity that you can't find with other accommodations.”
3. Independent Travel
More and more travelers are roughing it alone on the road and for weekend getaways. Solo trekking is quickly gaining in popularity, with travelers opting to take trips without family or friends by their side. The plus side of independent travel is opening yourself up to meet new people along your journey, but it’s best for first-timers to start in safe and friendly places.
"Traveling solo is on the rise, especially for women,” said Bisesto. “Going on an adventure by yourself can give you incredible opportunities that wouldn't be possible if you were traveling with a companion. You'll learn to embrace new cultures more personally, make friends outside of your comfort zone, and discover how independent and self-sufficient you really are."
4. Multigenerational Vacations
It’s no fun if you can’t get the whole family involved. The other side of the traveling solo coin is experiencing your favorite destination with your loved ones. This can be a family trip that incorporates everyone, from distant cousins outside of the country to your grandparents who live nearby.
“We're seeing more people traveling with members of different generations and searching for destinations that offer something for everyone,” said Bisesto. “Depending on where you want to go, you can find hotels, cruises, and tour companies that cater to groups of all ages with family-friendly activities like cooking classes and walking tours. Whether you're celebrating a big family reunion with a trip or taking younger members of your family abroad for the first time, there's something for everyone."
5. Road-tripping to National Parks
Without a doubt, some of the best natural wonders can be found right in America’s backyard. There’s no greater feeling than hitting the open road to explore protected landscapes and parks and scenic attractions.
"With prices of gas decreasing, more people are willing to drive to see the stunning mountains, deserts, glaciers, and hiking trails offered by our national parks,” Bisesto suggested. “Camping and hiking are popular activities for travelers from all walks of life and entrance fees are affordable for families of all sizes."
6. Touring Wine Country
Wine already has the capability of transporting libation lovers with just one sip. So imagine what it can do for you (and your five senses) when incorporated into an actual destination.
“Similar to the popularity of craft beer, wine-specific destinations have also experienced an increase in demand,” added Bisesto. “Whether celebrating a romantic occasion or a girls' weekend away, plenty of tour companies across the globe offer experiences that combine wine, culture, and beautiful scenery."
7. Epic Adventures
Some places have become all but synonymous with a particular sort of adventure: think of climbing New York City’s Empire State Building, touring the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or hiking the Grand Canyon. Well, the list of must-visit attractions is expanding and growing in the South and beyond.
“Combining nature, culture, and activity has never been more popular as travelers look to have experiences in places off-the-beaten path,” Bisesto said. “Diving with sharks, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and trekking through the Amazon are some popular activities for travelers seeking an adrenaline rush that offer experiences that not every tourist has scratched off their bucket list."
8. Discovering Your Roots
Looking for an enriching travel experience that combines history with a guided tour? Well, heritage traveling is the perfect answer. Bisesto advised planning your trip around cultural festivals and other events that would allow you to explore national monuments and archaeological sites.
“With companies like 23andMe making it easier than ever for people to do DNA tests at home, more people are interested in identifying their roots and exploring the places they came from," Bisesto said.
9. Long-Distance Train Travel
Why not make the best of your vacation by rail, as opposed to on a plane? You can sit back and watch the beautiful scenery unfold at every turn—all from your cabin window.
“As more Americans learn how to optimize their vacation days, opportunities to travel at a slower pace become more common,” explained Bisesto. “Train travel used to be a thing of the past primarily geared toward well-to-do travelers. Today, more and more options are available in many countries across many continents that allow tourists the chance to take in incredible views of different towns.”
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10. Booking Everything Online
Your next destination could be had with you only having to lift a finger—literally. Apps, all-inclusive sites, and text-messaging capabilities make it easier than ever to make travel reservations online.
“Booking flights, accommodations, and tours online has never been easier or more convenient,” Bisesto added. “Many travel websites (TravelPirates included) even offer instant messaging services to connect users to customer service agents who are ready to answer any questions or concerns travelers may have."