Staying on top of the hottest travel trends is a big responsibility that Covington advisors and Travel Maestro take very seriously. We do this so we can help you be a confident and well-informed traveler “living the art of travel” to the fullest. To that end, we pour over the annual Virtuoso Luxe Report, which is discerned from a comprehensive survey of worldwide Virtuoso members like Covington.
Overall, the forecast shows that travelers continue to want unspoiled nature and experiential travel. No activity is too unusual – be it sleeping in an igloo in Norway or herding cattle in Australia. Travelers want to explore new destinations and check off bucket list experiences. And they want authentic activities and personal enrichment along the way. So how does all that come together in one vacation?
Top Travel Trends for 2018
The Virtuoso Luxe Report identified five travel trends that each reflect our collective desire for fabulous travel experiences in their own way.
Multigenerational Travel – Grandparents, parents, and kids vacationing together took its place in top travel trends in 2010 and hasn’t budged since then because it’s so incredibly rewarding to connect with family through travel. A family trip, especially with three generations represented, creates lifelong memories, strengthens bonds, and plays a pivotal role in childhood education. Only your family’s imagination and interests will limit your activities. Cruises are very popular for their ease of travel, or maybe your family would enjoy relaxing together in a spacious villa or watching wildlife on safari.
Top family destinations are Italy, Mexico, Orlando, Hawaii, and Costa Rica, followed by Dominican Republic, South Africa, England, Canada, and France.
Active or Adventure Trips – When it comes to unique experiences, active and adventure travel is hard to beat. By their very nature, these vacations cater to amazing experiences but never fear, they are not limited to terror-inducing heights or superb fitness requirements. Adventure travel also includes less pulse-raising activities such as bicycling along Dutch canals, practicing yoga overlooking an ocean sunrise, setting sail into a colorful sunset, and impromptu tango lessons in the streets of Buenos Aires.
Top adventure destinations are South Africa, Iceland, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Antarctica.
River Cruising – Like multigenerational travel, river cruising began its rise to the top of favorite travel genres over the last decade. Now, this special cruise style is firmly ensconced in the top five travel trends and continues to grow with new ships and itineraries launching each year. River cruising is an intimate experience with most ships carrying under 350 passengers. It is also a relatively inclusive vacation that often includes gourmet cuisine, wine and beer, complimentary shore excursions, and more.
European river cruises are plentiful with itineraries on the Danube, Rhone, and Rhine, but also in Russia, Portugal, and Italy. You can also ply rivers in Southeast Asia, South America, and the U.S.
Food and Wine Travel – Many will argue there is no more authentic way to get to know a place and its people than through its food. Traditional dishes and how they are prepared hint at the history of the community. The ingredients used reflect the local weather and terrain. Where and when people gather to eat offer insight into the local culture. So when you taste the gastronomy of a place, you’re actually engaging with the local culture at the most basic level. The reason food and wine is such a travel trend is that it doesn’t even have to be the sole focus of your trip – it’s a cultural bonus added to any trip!
Favorite ways to participate in food and wine travel include cooking classes, market tours, and wine tastings. You can forage for truffles in Tuscany, go on a tapas crawl in Barcelona, or taste street food in Bangkok. The possibilities are endless.
Celebration Travel – Life’s milestones are worth celebrating and a top trend is to honor the accomplishment with travel. Traditional celebration travel includes honeymoons that give the newlyweds time to relax and revel in their love after the nuptials, and retirement trips, well-earned respites after years of work. Now, additional milestone celebrations are trending. Parents plan special birthday trips for kids coming of a certain age; college graduates take adventures before they begin a career; expecting parents go on “Babymoons” to celebrate a special time together before their new arrival.
Celebration travel takes on any format the honoree wishes. Destinations range from a remote tropical paradise to a vibrant city, an ocean cruise or an Irish castle. You may travel alone or with a group, have no schedule or an active itinerary. It’s your party!
Whatever your reason for travel, bucket list adventure or destination, Covington advisors have the experience and connections to make your trip one you’ll never forget. Start planning today.