What's new in the world of travel for 2015? You might think that we've seen everything there is to see, but there are still new developments for travelers. Whether it's the impact of technology, the destinations we visit, or the way we reach them, 2015 will see a number of trends emerging. So here are some of the exciting travel trends to look out for this year …
One of the annoying things about long-haul travel is having to change planes and spend hours hanging around in the airport during your stopover. This year will see new direct long-haul routes emerging, so you'll be able to go all the way from Dallas to Sydney without stopping. There are lots of other new routes, so your long-haul flight could well be a few hours shorter!
Do you worry that tourism doesn't benefit local people? This year will see the 'ethical tourism' sector grow, with more non-profit travel companies that devote their profits to charities and local projects. By traveling with one of these companies, you can be sure that the money you're spending goes to important causes and will make a positive difference to the lives of local people.
Be honest - how often do you actually talk to local people when you travel, beyond saying please and thank you? 2015 will see a growth in opportunities to meet local people and experience your destination through their eyes. The success of sites like Eatwith and Airbnb show that people are interested in a more meaningful travel experience than eating in touristy restaurants and staying in anonymous hotels.
Smartphones are fast becoming a convenient way to make bookings and do financial transactions. This year more travel companies will offer clients the chance to use their smartphone as a travel tool. You may even be able to check in and pay using your phone - so don't lose it!
Traveling first or business class makes a long plane trip much more comfortable. However, most of us only have the budget for an economy ticket. This year, some airlines are introducing 'premium economy', with improved seating, more space and better amenities. So if you can't afford a full upgrade, consider paying the extra for the comfort of premium economy on a long flight.
With relations between Cuba and the US starting to improve, it won't be long before Cuba becomes a more popular travel destination for Americans. But which destinations are tipped to grab the interest of travelers this year? Botswana is top of the list for adventurous travelers, and Austria for those looking for a European break.
Is lazing around on the beach too boring for you, but constant sightseeing too exhausting? Opt for the middle ground with a spa or wellness break, such as a yoga holiday. These trips will leave you feeling rejuvenated, just as a vacation should do! They're especially good if you're stressed or need to look after your well-being more.
So if you're traveling this year you could see some interesting practical and technological developments on your trip. Travel will also be more geared around building a meaningful experience and engaging with local residents. What would your perfect trip involve?
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