So your planning on gallivanting around the world next year, picking your stops the first step. If only it was as easy as throwing a dart at the map and booking your flights to where X marks the spot. You can do that if you please, but with a little education you make a wiser decision. We’ve scanned Google data, Lonely Planet guides, Reddit and tourist stats all in the name of research. So here’s just where and how you’ll be travelling next year. Take notes.
According to Google searches the destinations of choice are all across the globe. Reykjavik, Havana, Toronto, Mexico City and Tokyo are most popular online. And with a whole lot of people power clicking their way to the top, you can expect a flood of destination shots as the year rolls on.
Lonely Planet suggests a different itinerary with the top ten looking very worldly and little less travelled. Bordeaux, France, Ohrid, Macedonia, Los Angeles, USA, Cape Town, South Africa, Merida, Mexico, Pistoia, Italy, Seoul, South Korea, Lisbon, Portugal, Moscow, Russia, Portland, Oregon; a solid offering for the global wanderer.
Expect a handful more AirBnb options and niche accomodation off the back of these announcements. And choice means good deals for everyone. Don’t mind if we do.
Youtube travel hacks
It turns out savvy travellers are turning away from guidebooks and instead to Youtube. There’s been an 115% rise in Youtube travel searches, as those about to set off look for hacks. How to pack, luggage solutions, travel monologues, you name it, it’s out there. It’s no surprise that the video site that once hosted pranks and music videos has moved into travel. Thanks to a generation of eager backpackers and worldly wanderers creating engaging content non stop. Do you roll or do you fold? There’s something on Youtube for both sides.
For all the planning we do before the trip, 85% of leisure travelers decide their itinerary after arrival. And not many modern travellers carry their laptop in tow so that is almost entirely on mobile. This functionality and new found spontaneity means last minute booking options will start to have a lot more to offer.
The new found appreciation for living how the locals do means we love a good recommendation. Asking the hostel receptionist where’s the best place to eat, always reaps a solid reward. Modern travellers are turning away from being tied down to a tour weeks in advance, for fear of something better coming along. We certainly are a fickle bunch.
Pinterest boards at the ready. Collating your dream trip and bookmarking blogs en masse, Pinterest is a travellers delight. With the advent of Insta as our source of wanderlust, Pinterest offers a space to organise your thoughts. A travel board for each destination, visually engaging and an endless stream of new pins make it a love of would be travellers. Travel content is most popular on Saturdays on the virtual pin board, so jump online then to catch the good stuff.
Travel for the taste
Once the advent of Michelin stars, the 2017 traveller explores for local tastes. Back alley haunts, street food markets and authentic delicacies make a trip that much more memorable. You don’t need to take a photo of everything, if you have the sensory experience to hold on to.
For the foodies out there whose holidays are dictated by nibbles, look no further than these gastronomy meccas. Rija, Latvia; East Lombardy, Italy and Aarhus, Denmark will be the culinary destinations to mark on your map next year. Awarded the European Region of Gastronomy accolade for 2017 there will be an extensive program of event and especially wonderful tastes on offer.
Expect a wealth of local fare and fresh produce, all washed away with a fine local tipple. A Hansen and Gretel esque trail as you follow the map, crumb by crumb.
There’s an app for that
More travel apps that ever before and they’re even more destination specific. Travel journals, fold out maps or bundles of brochures from the hotel reception are no more. Load up you apps folder and you’ll be soaking up the sun or wandering the best corners of the city in no time. Beyond just travel advice, apps are here to make your travel that much easier, smoother and even more relaxing.
Dip lets you sit by the finest of hotel pools without booking a night, My Panda let’s you know how safe your new neighbourhood is and Google Trips, well does it all. Or perhaps you need some help remedying the jet lag, Binaural Beats will soothe you. Or your iPhone Camera not up to scratch, ProCamera is the go. Cities Talking and Cool Cousin have all the inside steps for your new locale, so you can wander with ease. And if you really fall in love with that fine Italian wine, use Vivino to remember and track it down for you once you’re back home. Another glass please sir.
Bragging rights aside, everyone wants to learn a thing or two when travelling. A new culture, a new phrase or a whole language, we want to have a little badge of honour to bring home. 78% of millennial travellers want to learn a new skill, language or local experience in their travels. Cooking classes in Morocco, wine tastings in New Zealand or getting a little crafty with the local wares, in 2017 you’ll be seeking these adventures even more.
Intensive language courses are the ultimate way to learn a language, throwing you in the deep end and only helping you out upon the magic foreign word. But you can learn just about anything these days, everyone’s an expert but these one’s will show you a thing or two. Learning yoga in Thailand, fine baking in France or Portuguese with a side of football in Brazil. Meeting locals and educating yourself is not just trendy, it’s incredibly rewarding. It doesn’t get more authentic than that.
More likely than ever before to go all Eat Pray Love, solo travel is on the rise. Once banished to the realm of totally unfeasible, no it’s a much needed escape. Whether it’s an exploration of self or just expanding your horizons, solo travel is much simpler to do. Sure hotels are twice as expensive without a travel partner, and AirBnb entire houses a little out of the budget, you’ll get to meet people like never before. Even the shyest of people will find themselves coming out of their shell at the stool of a hostel bar or local drinking den.
Swap your hotel stays for hostel accomodation, there’s more upmarket options than ever before. No bed bugs promise. Sleek offerings, excellent wi fi and in most cases, for a little extra cash, your own bathroom. What’s not to love about shower privacy but social opportunities all in the one space? Check out Oasis Hostels in Lisbon, Nomadas Hostel in Mexico or Itaewon Inn in Seoul, if you’ve been swayed towards these destinations for your next trip already. You’ll never have to debate what to do either, just march to the rhythm of your own drum, wherever that may take you.
South Australia made the Lonely Planet’s 2017 hit list, making it the only Australian spot to be tipped. The entire region from Adelaide, the wine country nearby and Kangaroo Island make it an untouched gem for global travellers. But why not see it for yourself before venturing abroad? As environmental factors wither away some of our greatest natural landscape (hello coral bleaching), it’s more important than ever to see this fine land of ours.
You can see the outback by camel, by foot or by train, and it’s truly stunning. Then drown yourself amongst the barrels of finally fermented local grapes. Catch a gig in Adelaide, their music scene is going off. And sun yourself unbothered on the postcard-worthy beaches. Cheap flights make it all the simpler to gallivant around Australia in 2017. Sign yourself up to Jetstar’s and TigerAir’s newsletters, Tuesday’s and Friday’s are usually the fare sales to jump on.
Image source: Nelson Carvalheiro, Biz Flats, Youtube, Digital Coconut, Italy Infinity, Punch Drink, Kilroy, World of Wanderlust, Tales of Ardour.