Travel is constantly evolving propelled by changing desires and sensibilities, new technologies and more efficient transport.
Last year the buzz was all about Cuba and the explosion in cruise numbers. So what’s the outlook for the next 12 months?
1. More long-haul non-stop flights
Very soon, you’ll be able to get to your north hemisphere destination much quicker. Aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus are rolling out new state-of-the-art planes like the 787 Dreamliner and A350 capable of flying ultra-long-haul routes such as Perth to London or Sydney to Chicago non-stop.
These ‘hub-buster’ planes will bypass traditional transfer points like Los Angeles, Singapore or Dubai saving significantly on travel time.
Qantas will introduce the 787 on the Perth to London route in 2018, and is hinting at future additional non-stop routes throughout North America and Europe. It’s said these new routes will reduce jetlag due to shorter travel times and more comfortable cabin pressure and oxygen flow.
2. Electronic cruise technology
The smart technology wave is making its way on the oceans. Princess Cruises recently introduced its “Ocean Medallion”, a wearable device that replaces the standard keycard. More than just a room key, the device can be used to make room charges for food and beverages, or reservations for meals and tours. Ocean Medallion can even locate family members on the ship.
Carnival Cruise Lines has a similar product which for convenience, can be worn as a bracelet or necklace.
Look out for more and more cruise lines using this latest technology in 2018 and say goodbye to the old keycard hanging around your neck on a lanyard.
3. Small group and themed tours
If you’re apprehensive about tackling a foreign destination on your own but don’t want the cookie cutter approach that comes with the regular coach tours, then more intimate, small group tours are definitely for you. Companies like Back-Roads Touring, Abercrombie & Kent and Peregrine Adventures specialise in tours for 10-18 people, allowing for an immersive experience that is less regimented and more personal.
A hot new trend gaining momentum with small group touring is the themed holiday. Travel with like-minded people who share your interest in cooking, wine and food, history, architecture, art and literature or religion.
4. Airport biometrics
Throughout 2017, airlines, airports and Customs agencies have been trialling e-solutions for everything from check-in and boarding to Customs and Immigration. Instead of showing your passport and itinerary for check-in, or a boarding pass to get on the plane, facial recognition technologies will be used to identify you in the future.
Soon those annoying green arrival and departure cards will be a thing of the past!
From Auckland to Amsterdam and Brisbane to Boston, biometric trials are paving the way for everyday use in 2018.
5. More adventurous destinations
Popular tourist cities like London, New York and Paris will never go out of fashion, but these days, travellers are looking for something different.
In 2018, think Myanmar, Cambodia, Iceland, the Baltics and remote islands. Even Antarctica and the Canadian tundra are getting their time in the sun, so to speak. What do these destinations have in common? Think immersive and authentic local experiences, fewer tourists and pristine beauty.
Published under license from Well Travelled.