Categories
Active Travel Adventure Travel Booking Strategy Budget Travel Food & Drink Travel Trends Weekend Getaways Women's Travel

9 New Travel Trends to Watch in 2018

Curious about which new travel trends might dominate your Instagram feed this year? They’re shaping up to be more than just fleeting food trends or hyper-futuristic travel technology—some could change the way you travel for good.

Editor’s Note: For the latest version of this story, see 4 Key Travel Trends for 2019.

2018 Travel Trends to Watch

Here are the travel trends that have been turning heads, and how they might impact you in 2018 and beyond.

South Korea on the Rise

[st_content_ad]The 2018 Winter Olympics are sure to put South Korea on the map when Pyeongchang takes the world stage in February, and there are plenty of other reasons for travelers to start flocking to South Korea. Temples, palaces, cherry blossoms, and street food (read: kimchi) are just the beginning.

The “K beauty” trend, focused on skincare products originating in Korea, has recently taken social media and the beauty-blogosphere by storm, but ultra-moisturizing skincare treatments and sheet masks have long been a cornerstone of South Korean beauty culture. Intriguing natural ingredients like snail slime, bee venom, salmon eggs, seaweed, mushrooms, and more might be the travel trend to inspire many to skip the skincare aisle and book a luxe spa getaway in Seoul instead.

[st_related]7 Beauty Tips Travel Experts Swear By[/st_related]

Women’s Travel

Last year saw a major spike in solo travel trends and an increase in solo-tour availability, and now 2018 is shaping up to be the year of women’s travel. In the wake of the #MeToo movement the focus on women’s experiences has extended to travel, with many providers touting their women-only tours and pointing to a recent rise in female-only bookings .

REI small-group tours are now about 60 percent female on average. REI Women’s Adventures head everywhere from New Zealand and Machu Picchu for hiking, to Puerto Rico and Baja for sea kayaking. The company has expanded its female-only tours (which are also led by women) to 19 offerings after seeing three times the interest it had forecasted for the tours in 2017. Women with a passion for the outdoors are looking to stick together in bucket-list destinations.

Food Foraging

One of the newest culinary travel trends requires working a little for your meal. Connecting ecotourism and cooking classes, travelers are lining up to forage for local ingredients with an expert before heading into the kitchen. Hunting down truffles or herbs in forests and plucking scallops and seaweed from shorelines have become popular across the globe, from England and Portugal to Australia, Cape Town, and Abu Dhabi.

[st_related]Amazing and Delicious Trips for Culinary Voyagers[/st_related]

Millennial Cruises

Think you’re not a cruise person? Uniworld Cruises shook up cruise travel trends recently when it announced a new millennial-only river cruising option: U by Uniworld for ages 21 to 45. DJ lounges, restaurants, and shore excursions will dominate experiences on the Rhine, Seine, and Danube—but with a much younger crowd than your typical cruise ship, and with about 120 passengers onboard each sailing. The first of its kind, the idea of millennial-only cruises might have legs and expand once U by Uniworld starts sailing in 2018.

Alternative Safari Destinations

Over-tourism concerns went from murmurs to resounding protests in destinations like Barcelona in 2017, and the push for sustainable travel trends is likely to intensify this year, even outside of Europe.

Wildlife-famous Cape Town is now suffering from a water shortage that could make travelers instead consider unsung safari destinations like Zambia for leopards, Rwanda for endangered mountain gorillas, and Botswana for an abundant elephant population.

[st_related]Over-Tourism Is on the Rise: Here’s Where to Go Instead[/st_related]

New Fitness Trips

Active travel isn’t among the travel trends that are going away any time soon: Fitness trips are rapidly expanding their options. Intensifying adventure-tour offerings have evolved from trekking and hiking to cycling, marathon running, and rafting, kayaking, and sailing options from the likes of Intrepid Travel, REI Adventures, and G Adventures. It’s never been easier to find an active vacation that suits you while also crossing a destination off your bucket list.

Hyperloop Train Travel

“Hyperloop” travel, a near-supersonic-speed train tube network, has seemed like nothing more than a sci-fi novel idea since Tesla CEO Elon Musk floated the idea years ago—until recently. In late 2017 Musk expressed interest in finally executing the idea, and the project seems to have backers’ interest for development in 2018. Details are few, but industry experts seem excited by the prospect, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for any hyperloop travel trends that could make train travel glamorous again.

[st_related]6 Big Travel Questions for 2018[/st_related]

Last-Chance Travel

Climate change is becoming a more important travel trend with every passing year, and some destinations seeing major ecological changes like extreme temperatures and frequent flooding are beginning to feel as though they could soon be off-limits—making way for last-chance travel. From melting icefields and glaciers to Australia’s bleached and dying Great Barrier reef, travelers are setting out in droves to see things that may soon no longer be.

“Smart” Hotel Rooms

Have an Alexa at home? Welcome to the future: Hotel rooms are following suit ever since Aloft hotels incorporated voice-commanded rooms. “Smart” hotels may go even further than rooms you can ask to “close the blinds” or “turn off the lights.” Robot room service has become available in some hotels, and tech-focused brands like Yotel are expanding to the United States.

More from SmarterTravel:

[st_deals_search search_type=vacation]

Associate Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Shannon McMahon

Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning her next trip and often writing in her travel journal. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_ and on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

Shannon joined SmarterTravel in 2015. A former news reporter, she's lived in the south of Spain, spotted elephants in Sri Lanka, gone spelunking in the Caribbean, hiked Jordan's Petra Basin, interviewed Sao Paulo's Michelin-Star chefs, and explored China via bullet train. Travel trends, news oddities, and her visits to up-and-coming destinations are some of her favorite things to write about.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Sun, Huffington Post, Business Insider, blog.TripAdvisor.com, Boston.com, and more. Her educational background is in journalism, art history, gender studies, Spanish, and film. She's been quoted as an expert travel source by CNBC, People.com, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Plenty of extra thick hair elastics. They tame my frizzy curls and come in handy in a surprising number of packing and hotel dilemmas."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Climbing (yes, climbing, it's steep!) the Great Wall of China before it's gone."

Travel Motto: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window, of course."

Email Shannon at smcmahon@smartertravel.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *