6 Travel Trends To Know Right Now
If you’ve been with us for a while, you know that Virtuoso Travel Week—held every August—is one of the biggest weeks of the year for the travel industry. F1S is a member of Virtuoso, the world’s leading, invitation-only travel network, and its annual conference is a meeting of the minds for members and partners worldwide to connect and discuss everything from travel trends to industry insights.
Following last year’s completely virtual conference, F1S advisor Stacy Weigant was on the ground in Las Vegas, where the in-person portion of the hybrid event took place. Here, she shares the full scoop on all the key takeaways—from what travelers want to the key factor(s) that will make seeing the world right now even easier.
People want to travel—and bucket list trips are high on the list
“There is tremendous pent-up demand for travel,” says Weigant. “Many travelers want to do ‘bucket-list‘ journeys sooner rather than later, as they realize that the ‘new normal’ is ever-changing.” For example? Cruises to Antarctica. They’ve been particularly popular lately, finds Weigant, who says cruise lines are doing everything possible to ensure passengers stay safe—from requiring vaccinations for all crew and all passengers eligible for Covid tests, pre-boarding. They also have testing available while onboard, and prior to disembarking, for the requirements necessary to return home. “As most Antarctica cruises only visit the Antarctica Peninsula (which is basically uninhabited) or include limited low-density ports of calls, the chances of being exposed from outside the cruise ship is quite minimal.”
Flexibility is key right now
We’ve had to be open to changing restrictions and shifting protocols in our lives at home, and the same goes for when we hit the road. “Travel restrictions will be in a state of flux for the foreseeable future, and can continue to change from day to day or month to month,” explains Weigant. “Travelers need to keep in mind that travel protocols are fluid and they need to be willing to be flexible.” But you can find a silver lining: “Be open to exploring new destinations or new ways to travel that you may not have considered in the past.”
Budgeting for safety should be on the to-do list
Along those same lines, it’s smart for travelers to remember to plan accordingly for Covid tests or other requirements that might be in place. “The list of destinations and cruise lines requiring vaccines to enter are ever-increasing, along with Covid testing prior and while in country,” explains Weigant. “When planning travel, travelers need to budget in additional funds for all the tests that may be required for their plans.”
In Mexico and the Caribbean
Experiential travel is here to stay
“Experiential travel is more important than ever,” says Weigant. “Luxury today is meaningful travel.” Take Ireland for instance. “Ireland has been so popular for the past few years, and even more so these days for the following reasons,” she says. “Experientially, it is all about meeting and engaging with the locals, bringing the destination to life. Guides there are great storytellers, imparting their knowledge in ways that make the travelers feel as if they are truly a part of their destination.” Add in the fact that there are lots of open spaces with activities catering to all ages and levels, as well as the fact that, though it can change at any time, the country is open to vaccinated travelers without having to test or quarantine, and it’s a current dream trip.
Travelers want space
Speaking of wide open spaces, we ID-ed this trend back in our 2021 travel predictions—and it continues to be true. “Wide open spaces will still dominate overcrowded cities for the foreseeable future. Most travelers want to avoid crowded situations,” explains Weigant. Antarctica, as we mentioned earlier, is a good example of this. But there are others that aren’t so far-flung, too. At Auberge’s Mauna Lani resort in Hawaii, not only is there a huge grassy area known as the Great Lawn for visitors to check out, but also tons of nature-based experiences, like snorkeling, hiking—and even underwater rock running. And in Costa Rica, Hacienda AltaGracia has tons of immersive, outdoor experiences, giving guests the ability to put everything from horseback riding on trails in the Talamancan foothills to a dip in the Calientillo River on their list.
Advisors can help make travel easier
Over the past 18 months, we’ve all learned the abundance of virtual options—but being able to fully explore the world still wins out. “Zoom calls and virtual reality will never replace in-person, one-on-one contact with others and exploring destinations first hand, using all five senses,” says Weigant. And using a travel advisor is still the best way to do that. “With all the constant changes/restrictions involved in travel, now it is more important than ever for travelers to have a trusted consultant that will be their advisor and their advocate,” advises Weigant.
Whether you’re ready to book that bucket list trip or you want more insights into the best places to visit right now, reach out and we can help make your dream travel experience a reality