By Melissa Gidney Daly of The Perfect Hideaway
At the beginning of the year, we were interviewed by Elle Decor to share some of our thoughts on the travel trends we would see in 2017. Here are our predictions!
The Family Travel trend is growing for both immediate and extended families, using vacations as time to be together instead of the usual Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. It used to be that all-inclusive hotels were the best option, where extended families can enjoy a holiday at the same time, but maintain a bit of space with their own rooms to sleep at night. More and more, however, families are seeking alternative accommodation, such as private homes and villas, where families can all stay at one location. Villa La Semilla, a 5 bedroom fully-catered beachfront villa in the Mayan Riviera just opened its doors and are already booked months in advance with families wanting to holiday together. Exclusive villas like Villa La Semilla are in high demand because of additional perks such as an in-house private chef, concierge, pool and private beach area that make it easy for the guests to completely relax and fully enjoy their holiday.
Whether it’s due to environmental or political factors, certain destinations carry a sense of urgency to visit sooner than others. People want to see places that are more remote and less “instagrammed”, they want to see those places that are experiencing a lot of change… before they change too much! Commercial tourism in Cuba has already increased significantly, and is expected to continue, as well as trips to the Antarctic and the Great Barrier Reef, where tangible effects from global warming have been seen.
People are looking for more personal, enriching experiences. Another growing trend are ‘Active journeys’, such as African Safaris or swimming with whale sharks in Mexico, and specialized wellness retreats like “Sanctu Stays” that focus on meditation, workshops and yoga. Exhale Yoga Retreats currently offers retreats in Nicaragua and El Salvador in addition to 200hr and 300 hr teacher training in Bali. Exhale Yoga Retreats is more than just an escape from your busy life, but is built on the philosophy that bringing together like-minded people creates an empowering sense of connection and inspires profound transformation.
Let’s admit it, we’re all addicted to some point. Similar to the Wellness Retreat trend, Digital Detox has a more specific tech-free focus, spearheading the movement to disconnect regularly from digital devices and reconnect with the world offline. It's Time To Log Off runs retreats in Somerset, Italy and Hawaii.
More and more luxury travelers are putting their vacation in the hands of top professionals to guarantee the most exclusive travel experiences tailored to their wildest dreams. Splurging on over-the-top experiences such as private jets, high-end villas, or chartering a yacht, is also becoming more popular. Today’s luxury traveler is veering away from material goods and placing more importance on access, particularly on experiences that none of their friends have done before!
Total Management can organize Porsche ice-rally driving in Sweden, Responsible Travel runs sea-kayaking trips around Indonesia in search of legendary komodo dragons, and Wild Frontiers can take you along the Congo River from Kisangani to Kinshasa.
More and more travelers are wanting to connect and immerse themselves in the local culture when abroad with activities such as cooking classes as well as more exclusive experiences of sampling the eats of private chefs in their own homes. EatWith lets you pick a location (more than 200 cities) and a chef, then book an immersive dining experience or food tour. Meals are typically served at the chef's home and each is vetted by EatWith. Fancy Trini-Land Dinner Party in New York or a Market Tour and Lunch in Florence? You've come to the right place.
Transformative Travel is the next evolution, taking meaningful interactions and cultural immersion one step further. It can be defined by a shift in perspective, self-reflection and development and a deeper communion with nature and culture. Michael Bennett’s doctoral study identifies a three-phase process consisting of the departure, the initiation, and the return - aka the “hero’s journey” - where travelers venture into the unknown to learn wisdom from cultures and places outside their own, returning home to implement this knowledge, ultimately changing their lives and the lives of others around them. One company to look out for is Butterfield & Robinson, an immersive trip provider anchored in the art of slow travel, encouraging you to "Slow Down to See the World". Amen to that.
*Stay tuned for The Coolest New Hotel Trends and The Best Travel Gadgets of 2017*