I do not claim to be an expert as far as predicting travel trends. But I do not what I like when I travel. And I also see some trends, both good and bad.
One of the worst, and I am as guilty as anyone, is the constant digital connection to the rest of the world. But I do not use roaming, and limit myself to a few phone calls home, and unlimited texts. The experts call this trend, “digital-detox”, though I prefer to call it, “just try to enjoy your trip.” Of course, going back to nature, getting away from cities, and getting more active physically helps immensely.
Hit the “second” cities for a great experience. I can think of several here in the U.S. I enjoyed Memphis much more than Nashville. And Columbus much more than Cleveland. They call this obsession with capital cities, “overtourism”, but truth be known, this is what the travel industry tries to sell us. Perhaps the crowds will be less, and you will discover something you really enjoy. I thought Beale Street in Memphis was superior to Music Row in Nashville.
I was never big on “staycations” whatever that means. For retirees, it means very little. Maybe for those of you who still work full time jobs, a few days of R&R near home mean so much more. So, answer honestly, does it?
Travel flings seem like a thing of the past. Who needs to go out of town to have a flirtatious or romantic interlude? I rarely see this, at least wherever I go. Maybe some of my single friends can weigh in on this topic, if they dare! Do you know anyone who met Mr. or Mrs. Right on a trip?
Do you agree that drones are the most irritating travel accessory? Are any of you selfie-loving techie nerds this obsessive?
Budget airlines are cutting out food service. Onboard meals for purchase are poor at best. So, I can see Seamless, Ubereats, and Deliveroo bringing your favorite meals to your boarding gate. Wouldn’t you just love an In-N-Out burger and fries just as you board the plane for parts unknown? But I would not allow passengers anywhere near the airline’s microwave!
I have never been a fan of shipping my luggage, golf clubs or bicycle to my destination ahead of time. But it would certainly make certain trips easier and less stressful.
One of my pet peeves is carry-on bags that are too big for the overhead space. I also find it unfair when passengers, primarily women carry THREE items onto the plane. If the airlines were smart, they would enforce the rules, increase their baggage fee income, and make me a very happy traveler. And the planes would board faster as well!
Bottom line, where to go in 2018? I vote for our great National Parks, longer distance Amtrak trips, and a summer festival or two. I think a family reunion in Vegas or the coast would be fun too. How about you?
Surprise trips became popular in 2017, and will probably enjoy success in 2018. Is it the shock value, or the feeling of being kidnapped that appeals to you? Personally, I enjoy the pre-trip planning, research, and excitement.
Carry on meals will become more popular, with budget airlines becoming more popular. I have some favorites, like the baguette sandwiches from Le Panier in Seattle, or the manapua and lo mein from Libby’s in Honolulu.
Some airports, like SFO, Denver, and Chicago are becoming food destinations in and of themselves. I particularly enjoy the new food court in recently remodeled Terminal 2 at SFO. Just about every gourmet food item can be purchased and consumed, along with your favorite adult beverage.
Many of you are Uber and Lyft fans, but I try to stick to public transportation as much as possible. Plus I enjoy the trains and metros, both here and abroad. Try to look at both your carbon footprint, and your overall travel budget when making shorter, inner city trips.
As far as New Year’s resolutions, how about some travel resolutions?
I plan to travel smartly and expeditiously.
I plan to make at least two solo trips.
I plan to take an Amtrak trip.
I plan to take a car trip with Lexi and Sheri.
I plan to take a big trip to SE Asia.
I plan to take a trip to a major music event.
I plan to take a trip to a major sporting event.
I plan to visit at least one national park.
I plan to try a new cuisine in a new country.
I plan to ___________________________. (Fill in the blank)