While we may be nearing the end of January 2018, there’s still plenty of time to start planning for the year’s travel arrangements and get those holiday leaves approved.
From the rise of personalized travel to luxury travelers seeking more authentic local experiences, here are four key travel trends everyone should know about.
According to Daniel Welk, vice president of Hilton APAC Luxury Operations, “The travelers of today expect integrated and personalized digital interactions across channels throughout their travel experience.” So much so that travelers are willing to provide hotels and other travel providers data from past travels to receive more personalized services. The Hilton Honors App, for instance, works with hotel management systems so guests can check into and select preferred rooms, as well as decide on room service features during their entire stay.
Similarly, other hotels and travel operators are offering bespoke experiences catered to the individual’s preferences. It’s ultimately time to say goodbye to cookie cutter travel packages in 2018.
In a time where we’re constantly occupied by digital devices, there’s a greater desire to escape from it all and travel slow. This year will see more travelers escaping to far-flung places in Asia and traveling for a longer duration even.
James and Tamara Lohan of boutique travel agency, Mr & Mrs Smith, commented: “Singapore Airlines has plans this year to re-introduce their direct route from New York to Singapore, and I think we’ll see a rise in U.S. travelers to Asia with this now being such an easy journey.”
Whether it’s through long haul flights or taking up trips on luxury trains through Asia’s countrysides, more travelers will be looking to take things slow and truly immerse in their journeys.
With “mindful movement” predicted as being this year’s key travel trend by Health And Fitness Travel, various luxury hotels, resorts spas and travel organizations will be providing travelers with a range of holistic and wellness-related packages to choose from.
From yoga retreats and surfing breaks, to cycling tours and hiking trips, health-conscious travel is set to become increasingly more popular.
Living Like Locals
Lastly, 2018 will also quickly become the year for “living like locals” when traveling. This will go beyond just having a taste of local cuisine or visiting prominent cultural sites. Instead, it’ll revolve around specially crafted itineraries that’ll bring you closer to a country’s way of living. “At our Conrad properties around the world, we have rolled out Stay Inspired, an initiative offering guests with inspired experiences through a customized and curated collection of 1,3 or 5-hour experiences covering food, shopping, art, design, culture amongst others,” said Welk.
So instead of hopping from one city to the next, it’s time to fully connect and embrace each city’s culture, creating a more authentic experience. Airbnb, for instance, has also been popularizing this trend since 2016 with the introduction of “experiences” — a way for travelers to be shown around a new city by a local ambassador.