Travel Predictions for 2019

From cultural exchanges and eco activism, to virtual agents and a ‘less is more’ mentality – here are the biggest travel trends for next year.

Booking.com gives an exclusive peek into the crystal ball of what travelers can expect in the year ahead.

1. The Appren-trip
Representing a new type of currency and means of personal fulfilment, 2019 will see a rise in people’s desire to learn something new whilst away, as well as an increase in volunteering and skills-based vacations across generations.

2. Easy Does It
In past years, travelers have heard a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and speech recognition; in 2019, the winning innovations will be those that can seamlessly offer these technologies as a practical solution to travelers. Think keyless room-access with your phone, personalized travel tips or a robotic concierge who can communicate with guests in their mother tongue.

3. Conscious Travel
2019 will see a more conscious traveler become evident, with even more questions being asked around social, political and environmental issues in potential travel destinations before making a decision on where to visit. And as travelers increasingly seek new and authentic experiences, they also want to ensure that they can travel in safety, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Platforms such as Destination Pride are harnessing the power of multiple data sources to provide travelers with a ranking of how LGBT+ friendly their chosen travel destination is, while destinations and organizations will increasingly step up their support for women traveling alone.

4. Plastic Not-so Fantastic
The issue of single-use plastic will continue to be a hot topic, millennials and Gen Z travelers will look for sustainable experiences in their destination, while accommodation providers will look to reduce their plastic usage and increase their sustainable credentials.

5. The Experience Curator
When it comes to travel reflection, experiences are now valued higher than material possessions, 2019 will see travelers packing in many different and authentic experiences, from where they eat and sleep to how they shop or watch their favorite sports game with an emphasis on creating moments that will bring us joy and comfort long after the fact. As we all continue to lead busy lives, experiences will help to ease the burden of stressful adult life. We will see properties looking to add more childlike and playful touches such as ball pits and bouncy castles for adults to cater for a Millennial and Gen Z audience, who are the biggest groups who travel to feel like a child again.

6. Maximizing The Micro
Travellers are keen to take more weekend trips in 2019. It’s a year that’s predicted to be all about made-to-measure, bite sized travel with more curated travel itineraries squeezed into shorter time frames. Less is most definitely more as travelers are offered a more bespoke experience. With continued innovations in transport, from more flight routes, keenly priced airlines to sharable and easy, on-demand car rentals, as well as real-time public transport insights served up to visitors seamlessly in situ, the micro trip will become more varied and tailored, making shorter trips more personal and rewarding. There is a continued surge in desire to stay in unique and remarkable types of accommodation, which offer the chance to make a serious travel statement, even on the shortest of getaways.

Text and photos courtesy of Booking.com