There is a very strong affinity towards switched-on, climate-aware travel these days thus exploration tours with science experts on board (and in the company of fellow travellers who enjoy the discovery of science) are very popular.
The New Scientist, for example, has curated amazing itineraries, ranging from a Darwin’s Galapagos yacht tour with marine conservationist Jo Ruxton; to Dark and Frozen Matter session with particle physicist Kate Shaw at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider; to The Science of Pro Cycling with former Olympian and ex-Team Sky rider Phil Deignan at Tour De France’s iconic Mont Ventoux.
If you are more the academic type, the Smithsonian Journeys will take you for a week to Oxford University, where you can sample life as a student at Merton College and attend one of their fascinating academic courses.
The curriculum choice for 2020 includes The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, Myths and Legends of the British Isles, The Age of Winston Churchill, The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England, and The English Garden in History.
While the non-profit Blue Ventures will have you collecting reef data on their marine conservation volun-tours along the coasts of Madagascar, Belize and Timor-Leste.
Plenty of opportunities to learn more about the world we live in and save our planet.
Here is a gist of what’s in store for 2020 as per Virtuoso® Luxe Report, Conde Nast Traveller and other luxury travel experts.
Away From The Crowds
It turns out the well-travelled luxury set is now seeking remote, unspoiled destinations to avoid crowds – places ranging from the culturally distinct to those steeped in nature, including Borneo, Greenland and Oman. Extreme trips that come with a life coach are on the rise as are unique remote experiences in places like the Sheldon Chalet (featured above) in Alaska’s Denali National Park.
Travellers now prefer to explore several destinations in one trip and the trend is on surprising combinations – a ski adventure with a beach finale (fire and ice); a city stay with a jungle adventure, or a well-travelled place followed by a little-known spot to mingle with locals.
Food is becoming a main motivation for travellers choosing their destinations. Cooking classes, eating in private homes, Michelin-starred restaurants, farm-to-table visits, truffle hunting – culinary experiences now allow you to get a taste of place in order to get a sense of place.
Today’s travellers like to connect with like-minded people and share trips with common interests. Gen X-ers, Boomers and even Matures are travelling to bond with friends and others who share their passions or are at the same life stage. Affluent girls’ getaways and wellness trips are at all time high as are groups of couples travelling together including buddymoons – newlyweds bringing pals along for the fun. FlashPack, on the other hand, offers group adventures for singletons in their 30s and 40s (in the EU, one in three households is single).
EQ Phone Home
Today’s travellers seek more profound experiences that will allow them to find, engage and connect with themselves and our planet. Named The New Nomads by Conde Nast Traveller magazine, the latest breed of globetrotters measure carbon footprint, follow DNA maps, love barefoot nature immersion, foraging and rewilding of spirits. They are curious low-impact adventure seekers, who travel for a weekend on impulse, or six months, or five years, with kids, like-minded communities or just solo. Their mantra is positive transformation (of self and planet), fueled by the renewed interest in ancient mindfulness.
Here is what to expect in travel in 2018. Plenty of food for thought for fellow hoteliers to turn trends into packages.
Skip The Parents
Multigeneration travel is in full swing including “skip-gen” trips, where grandparents take grandchildren on a special adventure, leaving the parents behind to experience their own time off.
Eat, Play, Love
Whether it’s meeting the locals, wandering neighbourhoods or learning traditional crafts, travellers nowadays want culturally immersive experiences they can’t find in a guidebook. Plenty of opportunities for hoteliers for local partnerships and packages before airbnb steals it all.
Fly Me To The Joon
There are two things millennials love – travel and social media so they can brag about travel. Hoteliers have long ago put those two together and launched chains like Moxy by Marriott, Jen by Shangri-La, Canopy by Hilton and JoandJoe by Accor. These new select service brands target millennials with “just the right room”; packed with digital tech and “surprises”.
Air France, however, is the first to launch the new generation airline. Joon has been entirely designed to meet the tech-savvy requirements and aspirations of the 18-to-35-year-olds. Those include tablet plugs in every seat; organic menu; VR headsets and in-flight entertainment streaming to personal devices. The cabin crew uniforms, inspired by Silicon Valley start-ups, feature white sneakers, electric blue polo shirts and sweaters made of recycled fabrics.
The airline’s partners offer cheap parking at the airport, airbnb experiences and surprise trips (you pay a bulk sum online for a trip including flights and hotel and find out the destination 48 hours to departure). Like everything millennial, Joon is a lifestyle brand before anything else i.e. “Rooftop bar with tapas and smoothies but also an airline”.
Try Me A River
There’s been talk for some time about younger travellers’ love of cruising, with festival-cruises and boutique river cruises like Aqua Expeditions along the Mekong appealing to millennials.
This year, Uniworld River Cruises debuts its U by Uniworld brand targeting youngsters with sleek all-black vessels; international DJs sets, mixology classes; rooftop yoga and adventurous excursions including rock climbing and white-water rafting.
Gone With The WiFi
Thought millennials were the only digital nomads around? Think again. On the rise are longer getaways for baby boomers travelling abroad for several months while working. In response to this, Brownell Travel have launched “sojourns”; three-month trips which include stays at short-term-let apartments, and access to co-working spaces such as WeWork.