Economies are changing. Societies are changing. People are changing. Travel is changing. At the core of all new trends related to traveling (both locally and internationally) are three things:
“Traveling increases in a globalized world.”
- Globalization: People are more connected with one another than even before in the history of mankind. (How deeply connected is a topic for another time). Most people are also receiving more education today than just 50 years ago. If you combine literacy and internet access, you get a society which is very knowledgeable about other cultures, places, and exploring new opportunities.
“Traveling increases when people have friends from all over the world.”
- Authentic Individualism: The other growing trend that we are currently seeing is “authentic self-expression”. While the social media has done a good job giving everyone a platform to express themselves in whichever way they want, I believe, having such an exposure of the world on your fingertip is a good thing. For example, young people today from all over the world are interested in coming together for a cause and solving tough problems in creative ways.
“Traveling increases when people’s bank balance increases.”
- Money: Finally, traveling is a costly endeavor. It is always more economical to just stay home than to go out even locally. When you are out of your home, you have to spend money on food and drink. If you are too far out, you have to spend on gas and car, renting a place for the night and if you are traveling too far from your home, you are now also spending on air tickets, insurance, gears and camera among several other things. However, as people are earning more (all over the world) and as transportation is becoming cheaper due to better technologies and global competition, many more people are now able to afford to travel which would have been impossible just 150 years ago. Think about that.
What Are the Top 5 Travel Trends of Our Time?
- Adventure: People today wish to experience the world for what it truly is. From skydiving to river rafting to scuba diving, adventure has become a top reason for people to travel. One of the major travel trends has become doing “interesting things” or visiting “interesting places” while traveling.
- Budget travel & Sharing is fun: Luxury travel is going to stay. Luxury feels good. Trust me on this. If you have the money, you would not pick budget travel over a 5 star resort in the Caribbean. If money allows, you would want a full window, balcony suite on a luxury cruise. That said, business such as Airbnb, Home Away, Priceline, Hostels, Time-sharing, etc. are becoming hotter than ever before. Another trend is people now tend to share more. As global trust level is increasing, traveling and sharing things with strangers are becoming a growing possibility.
- Going Local: Nothing can beat the experience and having the opportunity to see your own home country or town. People want to engage with a worthy cause and give back to the local communities. This trend is picking up and becoming big. Traveling which often involves a larger involvement of locals and engaging with the community.
- More International Travel: Seeing the world. Particularly, the continent of Asia and Africa. Today more than ever before, many young people are committing to travel the world. For some that may mean visiting a country from each continent while for some it may mean visiting 100+ countries. In the past, Africa was an expensive and exotic destination reserved for only the brave or the rich. The countries in Asia was also the land of mystery, snakes and uncivilized tribal communities. We all know now that the truth is far from any of these stereotypes of pre-1950s.
- Relocation and Working Remotely: Technology has allowed us to work from anywhere in the world and be part of a truly global team. A lot of young people are relocating to a warmer or cheaper (or both) destinations to work remotely for their employers based in the US or Europe. Information Technology, programming and software and web development can be done from anywhere as long as one has access to fast internet and electricity. No wonder, we are seeing this trend where a lot of Americans are locating to South America and even Thailand to work remotely whether for a short duration or while traveling.
What other travel trends do you see? Comment below.
This post was written by Salil Jha