Every January, thousands of people around the world sit down with their phones or computers in hand and start the process of jotting down or bookmarking destinations they would like to visit. Some do it with their family over a bite to eat, working out where they want to go and how they are going to save up to make the trip the most memorable to date and how they are going to get there. Other folk sit down alone with a cup of tea, credit card in hand, ready to plan and book that amazing bucket list trip. Some email their friends across the globe and set up WhatsApp groups to make sure they all have the first week in June booked for that trip to some far flung destination. Whoever you are, there are a few global travel trends you need to keep in the back of your mind when looking at travel in 2019!!
Trend 1: Low Impact – High Personal Value Travel.
More and more people are exploring the option to travel to destinations where the focus is primarily on conservation and communities, instead of just the pure enjoyment of travel. Families, couples and individuals are more likely to research and book with lodges and hotels that have an active community project, employing staff from the immediate surroundings and investing actively in the schools and community projects they have initiated. With all the information being shared in terms of environmental pollution, such as plastic pollution (including bottles ending up in the sea via rivers and plastic straws used at some lodges for instance) more and more folks are opting to travel to countries and destinations that are more conservation orientated. Several countries in Africa for instance have a zero plastic bag policy, and are as such attractive destinations for these travelers. Many tourists are also actively invested in finding out how the funds available through tourist levies are distributed. Are they reaching the communities they are intended to uplift? It is all about conscious low impact, high personal value destinations.
Trend 2 : Trains,trains and well trains !!
Who does not remember their first train ride? the anticipation of the adventure, all there is to do and see while listening to the soothing click-click of the journey… Fast-forward a few years and this is still a highly anticipated means of travel for everyone. You see travel by train is by far more about the experience of getting there, than just arriving at a destination. It is about changing scenery, changing landscapes and the old-school charm of spending time relaxing in exclusive, bespoke spaces. The food is scrumptious, the service excellent and in Africa there are a few operators offering this service. There is the iconic Blue Train which runs across South Africa with it superb service and fantastic menu offering and then the more exclusive and bespoke Rovos Rail which runs across South Africa and into neighbouring countries. The Rovos Rail has been described as the epitome of rail travel in the world, and with destinations such as Victoria Falls, Namibia and Dar Es Salaam it is easy to see why this is a must do journey on every discerning travellers list. Word has it in July 2019 Rovos Rail will set off on a new 15-day expedition traversing Tanzania, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola-spectacular comes to mind when we heard this in the office!
Of course locally in South Africa there is the also some options available for day visitors, such as the Wine Tram taking you through the wine farms in Franschhoek, or the steam train options available through Reef Steamers in Gauteng,
Trend 3 : Active Travel
No, we are not talking dashing from one gate to another at an airport, running like crazy to make a badly planned connecting flight. Active travel involves a great balance between relaxation and still keeping up with your daily exercise routine and the likes. More and more travelers are looking at option where they can include more action focussed activities, such as running or swimming as part of their daily Safari adventure. This could be watching game during the course of the day and working out in the state-of-the-art gym at the lodge, with spectacular views at the end of the day, or combining a few days of lazy, easy going travel with more active, adventure filled activities such as kayaking or scuba diving off the east coast of Africa. Or for the more adventurous chimpanzee trekking in the Mahale Mountain, heck even deciding this year will be the year when we climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya! It is all about the balance between relaxation and keeping those safari calories at bay.
Trend 4: Multi-Generation Travel
That’s right, remember the days when you went on holidays with your folks to some amazing destination and spent a week there, Well this trend is an adaptation based on this traditional holiday trend. It is estimated that by 2020, around 50% of the UK and USA workforce will be working in the entrepreneurial and freelance space. And in 2017, about 40% more children were home-schooled in these countries than in 2014. A number that has risen in 2018 This trend therefor means that more families are spending more quality time together and they have the freedom now to go on more out of peak season trips than ever before! Invite your kids grandparents along and it is easy to see why this trend is one of the fastest growing travel categories at present, with one in 3 trips now being multi-generational. Looking for the best multi-generational adventure-a safari is the best!
And Finally Trend 5: Destination Unknown, Curated Experiences Travel
This is probably the most exciting trend of 2019! Imagine you are 25 plus, and you want to experience adventure with no limitations regarding the chosen destinations (okay well some destinations as we cannot include space travel just yet 😉 You send us a list of what you like and do not like, and we arrange for the surprise package holiday of a lifetime! And the great thing? We can tailor make you dream African adventure and send you all the details you need, pay by card, show up and be ready to be amazed by what you experience!!! Sounds like The Ultimate Adventure!!!!