Top 3 Travel Trends for 2019

The world of travel is changing all the time, and it’s my job as a travel expert to always be keeping an eye on what’s happening! There are lots of travel trends to watch – wellness travel, foodie tours, solo travel, DNA travel, entertainment pilgrimages (like seeing the Game of Thrones sites in Croatia) and the list goes on – but, these are the three that I think are the biggest ones for 2019.

1. Group Travel

People are choosing to travel in groups with their family and friends more and more. Think milestone birthday celebrations – 40th girlfriend getaway anyone? – multi-generational family vacations with grandparents and/or other extended family, destination weddings, vow renewals, etc. One of the latest trends is referred to as “buddymoons” where couples go on their honeymoon with other couples rather than going alone. Another big trend is for people to put together social group trips with others that have common interests with them. This could be anything from golfers to wine lovers to foodies and more – and, keep in mind that when you travel as a group, there are typically group savings and special amenities to take advantage of!

2. Experiential Travel

Getting off the beaten path has been growing in popularity for a number of years, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. With the rise in overtourism in certain destinations, people are looking for ways to avoid the crowds and have more authentic travel experiences. They want to do what the locals do and eat where the locals eat. People want to know where the hidden gems are and they want more interactive experiences that give them an opportunity to connect with the local culture and people. From my own experience spending time at a small school in Jamaica last month through the Sandals Foundation, voluntourism - which basically refers to travelers volunteering while traveling - is a great way to accomplish all of this!

3. Green Travel

People are “going green” in every facet of their lives, including travel. Green travel includes both ecotourism and sustainable travel, and it’s on the rise. Ecotourism is any type of tourism that focuses on traveling to natural environments with the goal to learn about them and ultimately to help protect them, while sustainable travel strives to minimize the negative impacts of tourism. Travelers are gaining an increasing awareness of the impact of travel on communities, wildlife and the environment and as a result, they are choosing travel options that value these things like: staying at eco-friendly resorts, participating in tours where at least some of the proceeds go to fund ecological projects such as rain forest or animal habitat restoration, and so on.

Hotel Xcaret Mexico in the Riviera Maya, which I was fortunate enough to visit last year, is an all inclusive resort with a strong commitment to sustainable travel and is truly unique:

“In addition to a design that required nine years of geological, environmental and water studies to assure preservation of the existing ecosystem, the hotel has taken other measures in its day-to-day operation to reduce its carbon footprint, be energy efficient, use water responsibly and adequately manage waste.” Click here to read more about some of the specific practices this resort uses in their sustainable tourism model.

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