As we just wrapped up another wonderful year of adventure and uncovering some of the worlds most beautiful destinations, let’s take a look back at some of 2018’s biggest travel trends.

SOLO TRAVEL

Us travelers are increasingly becoming more confident to head out into the great unknown solo. With social media infiltrating our day-to-day lives with picturesque images of dreamy faraway places, travelling has become more accessible than ever and adventure seekers aren’t waiting around for travel buddies to head off and see these sites for ourselves. Tour companies are also conscious of this trend and there are heaps of tours which specifically cater for the solo traveler – it’s also a great way to meet new people and make lifelong friends. Even without joining a tour, solo travel can be completely liberating. Going out on adventures on my own has allowed me to really let go of my inhibitions and has taught me independence, while also reminding me not to sweat the small stuff. Check out Annika’s tips on solo travel as well as this article about how parents can support their children’s decisions to head out alone.

THE MIDDLE EAST

Travel to the Middle East was at an all-time high this year, and for good reason. As us travelers expand our global reach and seek to discover more out-of-the-ordinary destinations, the draw of the mysterious Middle East is increasingly inviting. As Gemma described in her recent article about why she fell in love with the Middle East, the region is full of breath-taking architecture, enchanting scenery, delicious food and welcoming people. Tourism continues to flourish and with it, increasing numbers of travelers are flocking to uncover the wonders of the region. From exploring the ancient pyramids in Egypt, floating in the Dead Sea, hiking in Jordan or gazing up at the skyscrapers in Dubai, there is so much to discover. Additionally, there is now, more than ever, a wider range of group and adventure tours which cater for all types of travel and allow travelers to be able to really experience the rich culture of the Middle East.

PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCES

The new generation of travelers have a tendency to value experiences over material possessions, meaning that we are seeking out holidays that are authentic, genuine and totally unique. We know that there is a big world out there and we gradually seeking out places which allow us to be immersed in a new cultures and uncover destinations which truly fill our souls. Rather than checking off the ‘must-visit’ places around the world, wanderers are booking trips which are more rewarding on a personal level and fulfill a much deeper desire – whether that’s a wellness retreat in the Maldives, a cooking safari in Italy or a surfing camp in Morocco. Tamara’s article sums this up perfectly.

ADVENTURE HOLIDAYS

I think this one is a bit of a given – yes, epic adventures were also on the rise this year. We have a greater need that ever to go wondering and explore uncharted territories; and with that we are becoming much more adventurous in the types of holidays we take. While we continue to seek out extraordinary parts of the world, we also want more thrill-seeking experiences when we get there. Activities such as hiking, surfing, mountain-climbing, zip-lining and skiing are becoming much more appealing to travelers than the typical city tourist bus. We want to challenge ourselves, step out of our comfort zones and try new things which are often much more rewarding and self-satisfying. Check out Annika’s group adventure tour article for some inspo!

SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL

Conscious travel was also trending this year with travelers aware more than ever of the damning destruction and devastation of the world’s environment and precious wildlife. We know the importance of responsible tourism – issues such as animal welfare, the effects of over-crowding, climate change and respecting local traditions – are changing the way we travel and we are actively seeking out trips where we can address these problems. Travelers are more willing to engage in activities which offset the impact on the environment, as well as visiting destinations which are deteriorating in order to promote awareness and encourage positive action. Tamara’s piece on places to visit before they are ruined by climate change sums this trend up perfectly.

VOLUNTEERING AND SKILLS TRIPS

With travelers being more aware of sustainable travel, it is little surprise that volunteering trips were also popular this year. The benefits of volunteering abroad are two-fold – you are making a positive impact on the social and/or environmental atrocities in places which desperately need aid. But, you are also making a vast impact on your own view of the world, opening your eyes to better understand the gravity of global issues and international development. By using your inherent skills, you can change the lives of those who are most in need as well as being able to immerse yourself fully in another culture. Volunteering abroad is a truly life-changing experience. If it has been one of your travel aspirations, check out this article to find out how to pick a safe place to volunteer.

What do you think will be trending in travel for 2019?