As a new year begins, we see various travel trends emerge, change or disappear entirely. Over the past decade, we’ve seen airlines connect to more places than ever before, booking has become seamless, passing through security and border control has become easier thanks to biometrics, CLEAR, TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, and more people are opting for luxurious travel experiences such as business or first class plane tickets, high-end resorts or luxury homestays.
So as we step into 2019, here are the top five trends we can expect from travelers, no matter the age or where they’re from.
Maximizing What You See
One travel trend we’ll see more of in 2019 is maximizing what one sees, in a less amount of time. Rather than spending a week in one city, travelers are staying no more than two to three days in one spot, then moving on to the next destination. We are now—thanks to better connections, faster planes and more ways to get from one place to another—able to do this seamlessly and without much-needed planning. Heading to Europe? Fly directly to London, rent a car and drive to Amsterdam, and then book a bullet to Venice, all in one week.
Technology has paved the way for some incredible travel experiences, especially ones that involve virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI). People are now able to use their devices to view their hotel rooms, airline seats, and even destinations before even setting foot out their door. Moreover, this technology is allowing travelers to have a very personalized travel experience—from booking and flying, to hotel stays and site seeing. 2019 is the year that we will see people using VR and AI more and more, accessible at all times with their handheld devices.
Another travel trend for 2019 is curated itineraries, done so by technology. Many people nowadays, especially Millennials, don’t use travel agents to book which cities to visit and what sites to see. Instead, travelers are relying on brands with the right technology to create their itinerary that suits their needs. Looking for an outdoor adventure? Or, maybe a relaxing time on a beach? How about an all food extravaganza throughout Southeast Asia? Apps such as PackPoint (to help you identify what you should pack for the type of vacation you’re taking), or Google Trips (to put together a perfect itinerary for you based on your recent searches and confirmed tickets), are curating individuals trips right down to the tee.
Traveling to touristy cities and their touristy sites can be stressful nowadays since so many popular spots are overrun by crazy tourists. Snagging that perfect picture becomes almost impossible—so is enjoying the moment. As such, 2019 calls for seeking the best of a place by discovering hidden gems and popular areas loved by the locals (not the tourists). Furthermore, people are now traveling to lesser-known towns and smaller countries. Space travel for non-astronauts is about to be a thing too, and those with $250,000 have already purchased their tickets for this next type of adventure.
Experience versus Physical Luxuries
Another travel trend for 2019 is the shift away from buying physical luxuries, and moving towards experiences that will last a lifetime. The trend is growing among Millennials and is also something we’ve seen in other generations as well. It’s not only traveling to somewhere but how, with whom, as well as what and where to eat/drink, what to shop for (i.e. meaningful, hand-made gifts from artisans versus gifts from airports). 2019 is all about the moments, not the material things.
Do you see any of these trends becoming a part of the way you will travel this year? If so, which ones?