With more complicated travel itineraries and complex destinations–travel agents are in higher demand than in previous years. Travelers want trusted and experienced agents to consult with their travel dreams and requirements! Individuals want a travel consultant that curates the most envious, luxurious, and downright cool vacations.
To stay on top of your travel game, here are some of the hottest new travel trends you’re going to want to know about for 2018:
1. Transformational Travel
People no longer just want to experience other cultures–they want to be changed by them. Immersive travel enables people to be well-informed and open-minded. Skift reports 70% of travelers feel an emotional connection to the places they visit. This can be a transformative experience in a good or ugly way for a traveler. How well do you know your traveler? Would they be frustrated with their experience immersed in a certain type of culture? Would a different culture be a more enjoyable experience? Make sure you know your traveler.
2. Sustainable Tourism
Is your travel eco-friendly? The United Nations declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development. Sustainable tourism is not just concerned with a green footprint as much as it supports the protection of cultural and natural heritage. Responsible sustainable tourism offers social and economic benefits for locals all over the world.
What’s a better way to immerse yourself in a culture–voluntourism or volunteer traveling? Skift reports that 50% of travelers would rather not feel like tourists while they travel. So why not be a volunteer? With the recent natural disasters all over the world, we will see an influx of volunteering trips. This is popular for the younger millennial travelers and now Gen Z travelers with limited responsibility domestically. Baby Boomers are also up for the opportunity to give back and experience the world with their discretionary time. Volunteering abroad has its perks too! Airlines offer discounted rates for those traveling with/for a nonprofit. If you’re an agent–sign up with AFC Net for access to contract airfare rates and a community of specialists in missions, student, and humanitarian airfare. Don’t skip the travel insurance either! Volunteer Card is a great option for travel insurance exclusively for voluntourists and students! Individuals with a passion to see change in the world who offer practical skills will benefit the organization they volunteer with and better themselves greatly!
4. Extreme Trips
The threat of global warming has created a spike in adventure travel for many destinations. The urgency of experiencing these destinations before they sink or disappear is creating a rush of adventure tourists. The places threatened include Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, New York City, Maldives, and Seychelles. The intrigue of traveling where none have traveled before excites the inner thrillist. Other extreme trips could be an African Safari to climbing Mt. Everest. Adventure awaits–if your traveler loves adventure and thrill make sure they visit these destinations before it’s too late!
5. Extended Vacations Overseas
Often popular for the Boomers and travelers with the ability to work remotely–extended vacations are perfect for the individual seeking more from their abroad experience. Often a few days even a few weeks is not enough to fully immerse into the epic culture. You might expect your travelers in Italy to extend their trips a couple months while their passports don’t require a visa. Offer this as an option to clients who are able.
6. Millennial River Cruising
River cruising is a great way to experience Europe without the hassle. Traditionally, River Cruises were popular for the older set. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises’ new Uniworld brand now offers river cruising for the 21-to-45-year-olds and themed experiential travel packed with rooftop clubs and adventure excursions. Not to mention, river cruising offers a simple, unique, and practical way to discover Europe!
7. Emerging Destinations
The road less traveled…people want to experience something first or different than their friends. In 2018, we may see Caribbean travel decrease and unique destinations rise. Some of these global destinations include: Australia, Iceland, France, South Africa, Israel, and Japan. With Icelandair, Iceland travel has spiked and will continue to see a high volume of tourists.
8. Solo Travel
Traveling alone can be a scary thought–especially if you are a woman. However, there are many safe locations to travel alone to regardless of gender. Traveling alone is something everyone should do at least once. The growth that comes from solo travel will be the reason you travel abroad alone again! It forces you out of your comfort zone and you’ll never return the same way as you left.
9. Healing Vacations
The rise of healing and wellness trips continue in 2018. The vacations are especially popular for women. These wellness trips include resorts focused on fitness, spas, spiritual retreats, and wellness tours. The debate is still current whether these are marketing ploys or actual relaxing getaways. Either way it’s a great way to heal from everyday life.
10. Train Trips
Traveling by train is cheap, inexpensive, and a great way to immerse yourself into culture. Train travel is not time-efficient, but a great way to get to know your surroundings and see the scenery of the country you visit.
Be on top of the trends! What kind of trips and destinations are your travelers wanting this year? Be knowledgeable and expert in the hottest travel trends in 2018!