Certain locations will always be top tourist destinations, but other places get trendy as travelers search for their next great adventure. In the past, travel trends have included adventure travel that was focused on experiences over destinations, wellness travel that focused on healthy activities, and slow travel that focused on the journey over the destination with transportation methods like sailing, train rides, bicycle tours, and horseback safaris.
So what travel trends are going to be the focus of 2019? Here are a few that might be the inspiration for your next trip:
You want to be a traveler, not a tourist, so many people will focus on less-popular destinations, off-season travel, and generally trying to reduce the impact their travels have on the greater world. As famous beaches and island cities take drastic steps to slow down their tourism industries, it’s becoming more important than ever to consider the effect your stay will have on the places that you visit, to make sure they’re available for the next generation as well.
Thanks to more affordable virtual reality hardware, and the fact that the smartphone in your pocket can enable some pretty impressive augmented reality experiences, tech-enabled travel is growing in popularity. You can travel to Mars aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover, travel back in time with Paris Timescopes, or bring history to life when you visit Washington, DC‘s Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s 1881 Bone Hall with the Skin & Bones App in hand.
Following Your DNA
Services like 23andMe and National Geographic’s Geno 2.0 allow you to test your DNA and find out your ancestry, and shows like Who Do You Think You Are? have popularized the idea of tracking down your ancestors to find out more about where you came from. Together, this will result in travel where people take tests to find out their genetic history, and then plan trips to visit those places in person, to help connect themselves to a little bit of their historic past, and give the places that they visit a special and very personal meaning.
It’s hard to get away from work for weeks at a time, so travelers are starting to look at three-day weekend road trips and micro excursions as a way to get away without all of the stress and commitment of a huge trip. Thanks to cheap transportation, on-demand accommodations and car rentals, and curated experiences with locals, you can do a lot without spending a lot of time in one place, and get back to the 9 to 5 before your boss is any wiser. Plus, a quick getaway is a good excuse to explore unique accommodations that can be their own reason for a trip, such as tree houses, mushroom domes, and tiny homes.
Electric Road Trips
With the increased popularity of electric vehicles, and the fact that charging stations are popping up all along popular road trip destinations, travelers are starting to hit the road in a much more environmentally friendly way, and stopping to see the sights as their vehicles charge up for the next leg in their journey.
Dark Sky Destinations
Our cities are filled with more lights than ever, which means it’s getting harder and harder to really get off the grid and find a spot where you can see more than just the Big Dipper when you look up into the sky. In response, some areas are starting to create designated ‘dark-sky spaces‘ where all lights are forbidden, which allows travelers and stargazers to enjoy the constellations and the vastness of our universe like never before.