With today's society being hyper-focused on how to obtain or maintain a certain quality lifestyle, it's no surprise that people are constantly looking for the latest trends regarding luxury travel. Television shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and the Real Housewives' franchise are always showing the public how the uber-rich are spending their vacation time and it's only made the rest of the world want to seek out their own luxury resorts to see for themselves.
While jet-setting across the globe for a trip around the world would seem like the ultimate vacation for any travel-enthusiast, it's interesting to see how many different niche travel destinations and resorts there are to really put a new twist on the ultimate trip. Some of the newest travel trends for 2018 are just an updated version of the standard go-to features of a true dream vacation but there are others that seem far more specific to the tastes of the traveler. Not everyone wants to go on a beach vacation to sit and sip on the sand, just as not everyone wants to fill their days with hiking trails or skiing on the slopes. Check out the 10 luxury travel trends to look out for in 2019 and the 10 to avoid completely and see which niche might be the best fit.
20 Culinary Vacations
While there are still some people that seek out ultra-active vacations for thrill-seeking types of adventures, it seems like there is a definite new trend. Rather than adrenaline-filled activities, people are starting to seek out ways to experience new cultures through a culinary-based tour.
Real Food Adventure tours is a company that specializes in tours that allow people to eat their way through a vacation, with culinary delights that will really open up the taste buds and introduce the body to a whole new experience.
The 8-day Italy Vegan Food Adventure starts at just over $2,500, but there are other tours right in the United States and can make for the perfect vacation for a foodie!
19 Solo Vacations
Traveling solo can be a bit intimidating for some and people used to think of it as quite distinct in the type of persona that could head out on a vacation without a traveling companion. Yet, this year, we have seen a new emergence of what it means to go on a solo vacation, a trend we'll see more of in 2019. Rather than thinking of it as a backpacking excursion akin to something like Reese Witherspoon's film Wild, companies have started to alter vacation packages to cater towards solo travellers. Intrepid Travel launched their very first solo-only tour packages and Transat expanded their Solo Collection in 2018 to offer things like waiving single supplements and hosting communal tables to share meals with fellow travellers.
18 Floating Villa
Since traveling to a beach destination has always been hugely popular, it's no surprise that novelty resorts that float on the water is still a huge trend in 2018. The Kardashian clan actually went to Bora Bora to stay in a floating villa back in season 6 and seeing the clear waters and amazing amenities really resonated with television audiences. There are a number of different floating resorts to choose from but one of the most luxurious and well-known is The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. The Overwater Royal Otemanu 2-bedroom with pool can sleep up to 6 guests and features the largest suspended pool over the lagoon in the South Pacific. There are glass viewing panels throughout the Villa, which is just under 3,000 square feet.
17 Immersed In Yoga
While yoga has been consistently popular over the years, it seems like there is an all-new obsession with this healthy-living activity that treats the mind, body, and soul. There are a number of different hotels that offer various yoga packages, but there is a huge trend in luxury travel that really has people immersing themselves into yoga in a whole new and intense way. Ananda in the Himalayas is set in the home of yoga and offers all different types of yoga retreat packages to cater towards individual health needs and goals. The most popular retreat is a five-day yogic cleanse that immerses the individual with 5 to 6 yoga session per day and a digestive tract cleansing, interspersed with meditation and philosophy lectures and chants.
16 Discovering The Beauty Of Mexico
With all of the headlines surrounding the cartel war in Mexico, there was a bit of a hit to tourism south of the border for quite some time. The tensions surrounding the government's intension to build a wall didn't exactly help with the tensions surrounding Mexico. Yet, that hasn't stopped people from considering Mexico one of the hottest vacation spots for those looking for a bit of fun and relaxation. However, there is a new trend in Mexican vacations that allow people to witness the beauty of the country beyond just margaritas and sandy beaches. The Maya Tulum Resort allows guests to witness loggerhead sea turtles walk up to the beach to lay their eggs and there is a scheduled day trip to the ruins of ancient Mayan cities.
15 Cycle Tours Throughout Europe
Traveling through Europe on a bike has always been a huge fascination for tourists. Not everyone is able to cycle the Tour de France, but utilizing some cycling in Europe as a vacation retreat comes at a close second. People often think of the I Love Lucy episode when Lucy orchestrated a biking venture and wound up getting into a bit of a debacle over her missing passport. Yet, there are cycling vacations that take all the guesswork out of it and turn it into a truly luxurious retreat. Scenic Luxury Cruise Line offers a European cycling tour that features specialized bikes available for the guests and coordinated tours throughout ultra-scenic and prolific locations. After the cycling, guests are encouraged to partake in some of the many different luxuries in the 5-star cruise ship with its ultra-spacious suites.
14 Hot Springs And Restorative Water
While there are some people that think about vacationing near water as a great way to participate in water sports and spending time on the beach, there is a huge travel trend that revolves around seeing water in a whole new light. From traveling to the Dead Sea for the restorative properties of the water and clay to the numerous hot spring resorts that claim to really boost the quality of the skin, it seems like people are starting to think about vacationing near water in a whole new way. Yet, it's not just the restorative properties of the water that make people flock to these types of travel destinations since it's also extremely calming.
13 Vineyard Retreats
Anyone that has ever been to a winery or participated in a wine tour with a group of friends or a romantic partner can attest to the great times that could be had when trying out a variety of different wines and really savoring in all the different flavor notes. The increased popularity of these types of tours have given rise to full-on luxury resorts that focus their entire vacation experience to the celebration of wine. From Italian tours that take travellers to well-known wine destinations like Bordeaux in Southwestern France to vacationing in Spain's Rioja wine-growing region, it seems like 2018 has been a great year to toast with others in a wine-filled vacation and it's definitely a trend we'll still see in 2019.
12 Wellness Retreats
While there are still people that think that the best vacations consist solely of laying out on a beach and drinking margaritas by the pool, there has been a major increase in wellness vacations. People are starting to think of traveling as the best way to really get active by doing things that are healthy for the body, mind, and spirit. Booking.com released a report stating that nearly 1 in 5 travellers in 2018 sought out vacation locales and resorts that feature hiking and walking activities, along with spa and relaxation treatments to truly rejuvenate the body.
11 Pop Culture Pilgrimages
One of the biggest new travel trends seems to center around locations that are known from television shows and films. While Downton Abbey may have come to an end, that hasn't stopped people from flocking to the Downton Abbey Guided Tour to see the Highclere Castle from the series. The same thing is true for those looking to visit filming locations from the Twilight film series, but the real fascination in recent years seems to center around Game of Thrones. The city of Meereen from the series is actually in Croatia, Castle Black in is Iceland, and Braavos is in Spain. From devoted fans of the show to travellers looking to check out these beautiful and famous locations for themselves, this seems like a vacation worth taking.
10 Digital Detox Retreat
In a world filled with so many electronic devices and constant forms of distraction, it's interesting how people are starting to look at their handheld devices like they are more of a hindrance to the human experience than a convenience. In order to cater to this new phenomenon regarding addiction to electronics, there are a number of vacation packages that offer a digital detox retreat to get people away from their devices in order to reconnect to the human experience. This often starts off with handing over all electronic devices and getting back to a simpler time. Yet, some people criticize these types of vacations since they can be quite pricey and it might be easier to just put the phone in a drawer for a few days rather than pay an arm and a leg for someone else to do it.
9 Body Cleanse Retreats
With the increased focus of the negative effects impurities have on the body, more and more people have decided to infuse their diet with vegan and gluten-free meals. Clean eating has become a huge new trend and it has definitely influenced the travel industry. Body-cleansing retreats have recently become hugely popular, whether it's a full detox resort that only features organic foods with juices that include locally-grown medicinal plants to vitamin retreats that administer fluids and oxygen to the guests. There are some people that really swear by these vitamin infusions but not everyone thinks that these body-cleanse retreats are worth the price tag.
8 Ice Hotels
It's been more than twenty years since the very first hotel made of ice opened in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. The hotel was more than just cavern-like rooms made from ice since the ice was actually formed with snow and water from the frozen Torne river. This allowed it to redesign the suites with each new November and really added to the appeal of this novelty idea of a luxury vacation destination. Over the years, it became increasingly popular and 2017 featured ICEHOTEL 365, an ice hotel that is available for 2018 room bookings year-round. While it's definitely unique, it may not be worth the coin to simply sleep outside in a fort.
7 Tiny Hotel Rooms
There has been a trend in recent years revolving tiny homes since people are starting to see the benefits of minimizing home expenses in order to have the means to travel and spend on having experiences rather than just square footage. The minimalist lifestyle may not be for everyone, but it's definitely appealing to think about what life would be like without a mortgage and without excessive home expenses that tend to bog people down. In an attempt to capitalize on this interest, there are a number of hotel offerings that feature tiny hotel rooms. It gives people a chance to see if they could cut it in a tiny living space, but some people think of this novelty travel trend as a bit of a waste.
6 Underwater Hotels
It seems like the most sought-after vacation experiences tend to revolve around being as close to the water as possible, from floating villas right on the water to cottages fit with their own private beach. Yet, there is a new trend in luxury travel that allows guests to actual stay underwater in fully submersed suite accommodations. There are a number of choices to choose from, with each of them having their own unique features and draws to various guests. The popularity of this travel trend has given rise to a number of slated projects, including the Poseidon Mystery Island luxury underwater resort that features luxury submarines and private staterooms with a project total of $105 million.
5 Artistic Expression
When it comes to hotel art, it's often thought of as somewhat of a joke since there are so many hotels with generic artwork and décor. Yet, there has been a growing trend in travel that has infused artful expression with traveling locales and that is something that more and more people want to see for themselves. A great example is when the artist, Banksy, opened The Walled Off Hotel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. While there are millions of tourists that want to visit the birthplace of Jesus, this hotel puts an artistic twist on the standard accommodations since it stands just across from the Israeli security barrier.
4 Treehouse Hotels
For those looking for an ultra-unique vacation resort, Sweden seems to be the destination that will really cater toward the eclectic traveler that wants all the views and majestic surroundings but with a twist. Treehotel is a themed-hotel resort that features actual treehouses built in a quiet forest near the Lule River in Harads, Sweden. There are a number of different styles to choose from, with each of them having their own unique features. The UFO room lets guests feel like they are in an actual spaceship and the Birdsnest tries to emulate the natural appeal of a real birds' nest.
3 Hotel Inside A Cave
It seems like there is always a new novelty that is appearing in different vacation resorts and each one seems to cater toward a specific type of person. The Beckham Creek Cave Lodge in the Arkansas Ozarks has definitely started to receive some attention (and not just because of the popularity of the Ozark television series). The resort is actually nestled in a living cave and offers a 6,000-square-foot lodge within the Ozark Mountains and minutes away from the Buffalo National River. For those looking for a novelty hotel stay akin to what it would be like if living as the elite in the Flintstones, this is the travel trend that would fit the bill at $1,600 per night.
2 Specialized Tourism
There has been an increase in popularity for medical tourism in the United States since people have discovered that they can get their elective beauty mods for a fraction of the price, but there was always a risk. Botched beauty mods became everyone's nightmare and there were also cases of people coming back, only to catch an infection that wound up costing even more money. Yet, that hasn't stopped the medical tourism industry to boom and in 2017, Condé Nast Traveler reported: "an estimated 14 million people go abroad to receive medical care each year." There are even a number of ultra-luxurious hotels that turn the beauty-mod trip into a luxury vacation.
1 Luxury In Nature
With the entire world seeming to be obsessed with gluten-free food and organically-sourced materials, it's no surprise that there is a luxury travel trend in resorts and packages that really emphasize nature. In an effort to tap into this specific group of travellers, the Nihi Sumba resort in Indonesia offers villas with grass roofs, walls made from locally-harvested teak, and a Sumba Island setting that looks more like a forest retreat than anything that could be considered luxurious. Yet, this is definitely far from roughing it in a sleeping bag at a local campground since it comes with a 24-hour personal masseuse and caters toward those with a higher standard of luxury in their "roughing it" experience.
References: Intrepid Travel, CN Traveller, Coastal Living, NY Times, Web Urbanist, GQ, Popsugar