In ancient times, people traveled for subsistence, religious missions, to trade goods, and to explore new frontiers. In the late 16th century, it was important for young aristocrats and the wealthy to travel to the important cities in Europe while finishing their education in arts, literature and culture.
In modern times, travel became more affordable and the middle class began to travel for pleasure, as a rite of passage, and other personal reasons.
The search for meaningful and novel ways to enjoy the short amount of leisure time we have for travel has sparked new trends.
Here are five of the top trends we see in travel today.
Multi-generation or skip-generation travel
Families are traveling in multi or skip generation groups. For some, this includes meeting with genealogists to learn more about their family history. Shared experiences bring people closer together and create lasting memories. Such travel can be cost effective when the extended family shares accommodations such as a villa in the Caribbean or Tuscany.
Active, Adventure and Achievement Travel
The bucket list doesn’t just cover a destination, it includes the activities or achievement to go along with it. It’s not just about visiting breathtakingly beautiful Switzerland when you can hike the Alps or an African safari when you can include a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Travelers that have seen the popular or traditional places want to go deeper into less traveled and regional experiences. They are traveling to experience the authentic culture of Puglia in Italy, barge travel in Burgundy, people-to-people experiences in Cuba, the Northern Lights in Iceland and the diverse regions of Portugal.
Sustainable travel isn’t all about getting rid of disposable straws. It means treading lightly on the environment and supporting local communities. Travelers can participate in volunteer activities by helping with local projects to support schools, conservation, and animal rehabilitation. It’s important to support local economies by shopping at local markets, purchasing from local artisans, and eating in family-owned restaurants.
Authentic Food and Wine Experiences
With top chef shows and Anthony Bourdain’s food travel inspiration, travelers are asking for opportunities outside of the top Michelin starred restaurants and best wineries. They want to shop food markets with a local, participate in cooking lessons, hunt for rare truffles with a guide and his dog, and share a meal with a local family.
Our forefathers traveled initially for survival, religion, commerce, exploration, enlightenment and finally pleasure. We have continued to evolve and now seek opportunities to elevate travel by integrating family, adventure, emerging destinations, sustainability, and authentic food and wine experiences.
Helen Jordan is the owner of Jordan Luxury Travel, an independent affiliate of Brownell Travel, a member of Virtuoso. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.