Destination Directory

The 2018 Travel Trend Itinerary

Travel habits constantly change, but there's no doubt about it: These trends have been growing the past few years and are front and center on the 2018 travel stage. When marketing your destination, selling tours and building itineraries, consider these trends popular among travelers.

A way to a traveler's heart is through their stomach, especially for millennials. According to Destination Analysts' quarterly report "The State of the American Traveler," more than half of millennials won't visit a destination that lacks good restaurants; 62 percent said interesting culinary travel experiences were very important.

According to the Family Travel Association, family trips are one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry, but "family travel" has taken on a new meaning in the past few years—to the point where it's actually taken on a new name. Family travel, now encompassing ages 1 to 101 (give or take a few years), has morphed into multigenerational travel where grandparents, parents and kids all pack their bags for family fun. However, Cruise Lines International Association reports a popular trend for grandparents is to take the grandkids along on vacation without the parents.

There's no doubt the wellness industry is healthy, and wellness travel is certainly reaping the benefits. Wellness travel enables travelers to focus on the aspects of their own health they've been neglecting—which could be physical or mental. With wellness travel, there are trends within trends.

Remote Luxury
Once upon a time, the term "luxury" may have inspired ideas of all-inclusive resorts and sparkling spas. Now, with wellness travel increasingly focusing on mental health, luxury is being associated with remoteness and disconnectivity. Skift notes that millennials, in particular, are turning to experiences that encourage silence, a disconnection to technology and reintroduction to the great outdoors.

On the note of "remote luxury," glamping is also becoming increasingly popular. Glamping is essentially for the people who like the idea of camping, but not the actual act. Travelers can experience everything nature has to offer, without losing the luxury of a hotel.

River Cruising
The river is rising! Cruise Lines International Association reported a 7 percent increase in new river cruise ships from 2015 to 2017. While river cruising is still a considerably small portion of the cruise industry, it's quickly growing and particularly popular among baby boomers.

Sustainable Tourism
Sustainable tourism hit industry news headlines in locations like Barcelona, Spain, a lot in 2017. Industry professionals may be driving toward sustainable tourism more than travelers themselves, but ecotourism has become more popular in recent years—especially with an increased interest in farm-to-fork dining, mental health escapades into nature and more.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.