DRIFT Travel magazine - - Life + Style -

Book­ing for in­spi­ra­tion for your 2018 travel? Fa­cil­i­tat­ing reser­va­tions for more than 1,500,000 room nights each day, the ex­perts at Book­ing.com, the global leader in con­nect­ing trav­el­ers with the widest choice of in­cred­i­ble places to stay, have com­bined cus­tomer in­sights from over 128 mil­lion real guest re­views with re­search from 19,000 trav­el­ers across 26 coun­tries around the world to re­veal the big­gest travel pre­dic­tions for 2018.


Im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences will reach the next level in 2018, with trav­el­ers look­ing to tech­nol­ogy to help bet­ter un­der­stand a desti­na­tion or ac­com­mo­da­tion be­fore they book. Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy are help­ing con­sumers turn the cor­ner when it comes to smart desti­na­tion in­tu­ition, re­shap­ing the way we re­search, book and ex­pe­ri­ence travel. Al­most a third (29%) of global trav­el­ers say they are com­fort­able let­ting a com­puter plan an up­com­ing trip based on data from their pre­vi­ous travel his­tory and half (50%) don’t mind if they deal with a real per­son or com­puter, so long as any ques­tions are an­swered. Over six in 10 (64%) of trav­el­ers say they would like to ‘try be­fore they buy’ with a vir­tual re­al­ity preview, while 50% find that per­son­al­ized sug­ges­tions for des­ti­na­tions and things to do en­cour­ages them to book a trip. Tak­ing all the hard work and stress out of de­ci­sion mak­ing, in 2018 tech­nol­ogy will con­tinue to guide us seam­lessly to find the best stays and ex­pe­ri­ences for us.


2018 is the year to dream big as 45% of trav­el­ers have a travel bucket list in mind and the ma­jor­ity of those (82%) will aim to tick one or more des­ti­na­tions off their list in the com­ing year. The yearn­ing for ex­pe­ri­ences over ma­te­rial pos­ses­sions con­tin­ues and drives our de­sire for more in­cred­i­ble and mem­o­rable trips. With dwin­dling pa­tience, in­stan­ta­neous ap­petites and em­pow­ered by tech­nol­ogy, trav­el­ers in 2018 will seize the mo­ment like never be­fore.

Most likely to fea­ture on a bucket list is see­ing one of the won­ders of the world, as al­most half of trav­el­ers (47%) will look to tick this off in 2018. Over a third (35%) yearn to tan­ta­lize their taste buds by try­ing a lo­cal del­i­cacy, 34% want to head to an is­land par­adise and 34% are thrill seek­ers want­ing to visit a world fa­mous theme park. Adrenalin junkies should con­sider Or­lando, USA, The Gold Coast in Australia and Dubai, United Arab Emirates the top des­ti­na­tions en­dorsed by Book­ing. com trav­el­ers for theme parks.

The other top travel ac­tiv­i­ties to com­plete in 2018 look set to be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a unique cul­tural event (28%), learn­ing a new skill (27%), go­ing on an epic road or rail jour­ney (25%) and vis­it­ing a re­mote or chal­leng­ing lo­ca­tion (25%).


As well as new ex­pe­ri­ences, trav­el­ers will be re­vis­it­ing their fa­vorite child­hood mem­o­ries as part of their trips in 2018. Blend­ing the fu­ture with the past, next year’s trav­el­ers will be in­spired to re­turn to pre­vi­ously loved des­ti­na­tions and ex­plore them in a whole new way. A third of trav­el­ers (34%) will con­sider a hol­i­day they ex­pe­ri­enced as a child for 2018.

These pop­u­lar­ity of these vin­tage va­ca­tions stems from the feel­ings of nos­tal­gia and hap­pi­ness the des­ti­na­tions evoke. Trav­el­ers say that for­mer fam­ily hol­i­days re­call the fond­est mem­o­ries, even more so than child­hood sweet­hearts or fam­ily pets. Mil­len­ni­als look set to be even more sen­ti­men­tal with 44% of 18 to 34 year olds keen to hark back to fa­vorite fam­ily des­ti­na­tions. With 60% of trav­el­ers in 2018 in­tend­ing to post on so­cial me­dia each day, we can ex­pect to see these nos­tal­gic places brought back to the fu­ture and cap­tured for so­cial pos­ter­ity.


With the world at our fin­ger tips, we rely on many sources to in­spire us to travel to new des­ti­na­tions. Tap­ping into our pas­sions is one way of help­ing to iden­tify the lo­ca­tions most suited to us - from

cul­ture and en­ter­tain­ment, to food and his­tory. In 2018, tele­vi­sion shows, films, sport and so­cial me­dia in par­tic­u­lar look set to have an in­creas­ingly sig­nif­i­cant sway over book­ing de­ci­sions, as trav­el­ers turn to pop cul­ture for their travel in­spi­ra­tion. Read­ing blogs or watch­ing Youtu­ber rec­om­men­da­tions will spark ideas for four in ten (39%) trav­el­ers and on screen lo­ca­tions from tele­vi­sion, film or mu­sic videos will win over 36% of trav­el­ers in the com­ing year. More than a fifth (22%) of trav­el­ers will be tempted by trav­el­ing for a ma­jor sport­ing event, with 43% of those con­sid­er­ing a sum­mer of foot­ball in Rus­sia.

The top tele­vi­sion pro­gram lo­ca­tions trav­el­ers most want to visit in 2018 are Croa­tia, Spain and Ice­land in­spired by Game of Thrones (29%), Lon­don as seen in Sher­lock and the Crown (21% and 13%), New York and Man­hat­tan from Bil­lions (13%) and Los An­ge­les viewed in En­tourage (10%).


The trend for well­ness get­aways isn’t slow­ing down for 2018, with al­most dou­ble the amount of peo­ple plan­ning to take health and well­be­ing trips in 2018 com­pared to 2017. Trips en­joy­ing par­tic­u­lar promi­nence will be those that in­volve trav­el­ing on two feet. A bril­liant way to take in the lo­cal land­scape, walk­ing will be the ul­ti­mate way to ex­plore next year, with 56% of trav­el­ers say­ing they want to do walk­ing or hik­ing trips in 2018. A new gen­er­a­tion of walk­ers will lace up their boots. Other health and well­ness in­spired ac­tiv­i­ties high on the travel agenda in 2018 in­clude vis­it­ing a spa or re­ceiv­ing beauty treat­ments (33%), cy­cling (24%), wa­ter sport ac­tiv­i­ties (22%), tak­ing a full body detox hol­i­day (17%), go­ing on a yoga re­treat (16%), run­ning (16%) and un­der­tak­ing med­i­ta­tion/ mind­ful­ness (15%). Embracing such ex­pe­ri­ences is pop­u­lar with trav­el­ers, with 59% say­ing they pri­or­i­tize ex­pe­ri­ences over ma­te­rial items when on hol­i­day. Par­tak­ing in a health and well­ness trip may also be good for the mind, as over half (55%) say that go­ing on hol­i­day is a mo­ment for them to re­flect and make bet­ter life­style choices – some­thing which can be eas­ily fa­cil­i­tated through a health and well­ness trip.

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