Stuck for where to go for that first oh-no-I’m-back-in-the-office holiday after Christmas & New Year? This one’s for you.
Intrepid Travel has predicted 2018’s top travel trends – and has a ton of killer new destinations to reflect growing trends.
But from more grassroots food experiences to travelling on two wheels and avoiding over-touristed destinations, there is one overarching theme for travel in 2018 – and that’s sustainable travel.
Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton said that “people are increasingly aware of their impact on the places and people that they visit as travellers.
“The Intrepid style of travel has always been to travel the local way: using local accommodation and transport, eating in local restaurants and employing locals. That means that our guests enjoy more authentic experiences while ensuring that a larger share of the money generated through tourism stays where it belongs: in local pockets.”
So what are these elusive travel trends for 2018?
More off the beaten track destinations
Sick of your fave destinations being too crowded for an instagram? So is everyone else.
But instead of Croatia or Greece, why not try another meditteranean island? Instead of adding to the masses, in 2018 Intrepid is offering its first tour of Cyprus – where you can experience crystal clear water and magical rock caves.
As travellers increasingly seek new and authentic experiences, travel to the Middle East is also on the rise with Intrepid’s Iran departures increasing by 24 per cent in 2017. In South America, new Intrepid tours take in Suriname and French Guiana – lesser-known countries that need your tourism dollars. Intrepid will also add lesser known itineraries to more widely visited countries – Chachapoyas, in Peru, has astonishing cliff hanging sites and newly discovered mummified bodies.
Not a European summer
Your average traveller wants to escape winter with their holidays, but Intrepid is seeing an increase in travellers making the most of off-season prices and avoiding crowds in winter destinations. A new 12-day US and Canada Discovery Winter trip offers the chance to experience the magic of a white Christmas – plus snow in New York.
Instead of the over-crowded and over-priced Swiss Alps, try the Tatra Mountains, Poland, which combine a traditional sleigh ride in Zakopane, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Jasna with a Zalipie village visit and cooking class in Krakow.
Hop off the bus
More and more travellers are increasingly wanting to stay active and healthy on their holidays and truly immerse in a destination – not just sit on a bus and watch it from the windows. Which is exactly why Intrepid has released a collection of hike, bike and raft tours – from riding through tea plantations in Sri Lanka to white water rafting along the Ganges in India.
Forget fine dining in Michelin-starred restaurants, travellers want authentic food experiences. Tourist dollars go to better places in the form of local markets and feasts in a family home through guided tours. Some of Intrepid’s new tours for 2018 include dining with Jamaicans and sampling traditional Japanese sashimi – it’s way better than that sushi shop down the road.
Leave your friends at home
Over 50 per cent of Intrepid travellers are by themselves. And it’s no surprise – group travel is one of the most popular ways to see the world without having to go completely by yourself. Intrepid’s solo-only trips pair each traveller up with a like-minded companion so everyone shares a room, and the costs. New 2018 solo-only tours include Morocco, Vietnam, Bali, India and Peru.
Aussies experiencing Australia
Australians don’t have to go far to see some of the world’s most untouched wilderness or immerse themselves in the oldest civilisation on Earth. Through the seven-day Journey into East Arnhem Land,Intrepid hopes to see indigenous tourism boom in 2018 and beyond.
After a visit to East Arnhem Land, Thornton said Intrepid was proud to be using its position to expose more Australians to Indigenous culture.
“While I spent time in East Arnhem Land, I was able to learn about the land and the environment from a culture who know how to look after it. Sometimes we get a bit carried away with the big vision for changing the way people see the world and forget about looking after our own.
“By working with the local Yolngu people on a sustainable tourism product which offers an accessible and engaging way to explore Arnhem Land, we hope to change the way Australian people look at Indigenous Australia, while providing one of the most special travel experiences available down under,” he said.
And thats one of the best travel trends of them all, if you ask us.