Driving around in unfamiliar cities can
be extremely daunting, but with apps
like Ask A Stranger, you can find
real-time travel advice personalized
to your exact location, weather con-
ditions, and interests. For example,
“Hi, Maggie! I see you’re traveling by
foot in Wicker Park, Chicago. It’s
cold outside, so may we suggest some
warm pho at Penny’s Noodle Shop?”
Keeping it relevant:
Take it in:
Enjoy a chocolate-making class in Saint Lucia, join a foodie tour
in Italy that takes you from farm to table, and learn how to make
traditional crafts in Southeast Asia. Taking last year’s authen-
tic/local trend a step further, you can now plan travel with a
stranger via social media apps or use the Tripr app to meet up
with fellow travelers nearby.
Famous for their fantastic food culture with entrees such as
arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, and let’s not forget the Cuban sand-
wich, culinary tours to Cuba are quickly gaining ground.
US-based passenger airlines will open flights to Cuba in 2016,
and travel to the island nation is expected to double next year.
With business travel to expand 5.4%,
companies are growing their busi-
ness trip scope to the global sector
next year. But beware, hotel rates
will rise by an estimated 6.5 - 7.5% to
accommodate increased demand.
Have time off,
Americans will be getting
out more often as
increasing numbers of
employers offer unlimited
holidays. A few famous
ones? Prezi, Virgin, and
You’ve heard of packing up your suitcase and going on a trip, but
have you heard of toting an entire HOUSE? Yep, you can hitch
these 100-400 square foot beauties to the back of a truck or SUV
or even book a reservation at places like the Tiny House Hotel in
Portland. Companies that are popularizing these compact casas
include Tumbleweed and Getaway.
Ready to mingle:
National Geographic grows into a major hotel media marketer
with the introduction of its new Unique Lodges Around the World.
Discovery Channel is following suit with the hotel/resort-finding
tool, Discovery Destinations.
Try before you travel:
You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it. Why not enjoy a
virtual tour of a destination before setting your luggage down?
With wearables like the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, travel
agencies are giving us a real sneak peek.
How scary is it that supercomput-
ers know what you want before you
do? As unsettling as it sounds,
personalization can have two huge
benefits--understanding the travel-
er, and speeding up the discovery
and decision process for anything
from booking rooms to choosing
Driving Miss Daisy:
Remember when we talked about the Mercedes that could
drive itself? Next year, the UK plans to introduce self-driving
pods which use Bluetooth connectivity to provide visitors
with information relevant to their location.
Totally checked out:
When was the last time you felt that
you truly got away from it all during
your getaway? Growing options for
relaxation, spirituality, exercise, and
mental health motivate health-con-
scious travelers to focus on their
personal journey instead of their
The young and restless:
Watch out! Millennials are joining Baby Boomers on the road.
They favor more authentic, less touristy locations and attrac-
tions. According to MMGY Global’s Portrait of American Travel-
ers, one-third of millenials plan more vacations next year than in
previous years. 10% of them will devote more of their budget to
future trips in 2016.
Beards and brews:
People are scouting out locations before they’re cool. “Hipster
holidays” have included such novelties as staying in a bee-
hive-style treehouse, brewery yurts, or communal camps. Be
on the lookout for the new hipster yuppie hybrid, the “yuccie.”
It’s a bird, it’s a plane:
You’ll see several breakthroughs in the air industry next
year, including the birth of the Stratolaunch Carrier, the
world’s first “mega plane” that will span more than the
length of a football field and send astronauts into
orbit. In other news: emissions-free flights are
projected to sail in Europe next spring,
and Americans are squeezing into
cabins designed for even higher
passenger volume, referred
to as “sardine flights.”
Marriott International just announced
their plans to acquire Starwood.
If the deal goes through, Marriott
will become the world's largest hotel
chain, with 5,500 hotels spanning a
30-brand empire. Other big compa-
nies keep on getting bigger: Expedia
bought HomeAway and merged with
Google did WHAT?!:
The 66 billion dollar software company is trying travel on for
size. When searching for a hotel room on Google, users can
start working on their reservations in a few clicks. Field experts
and consumers fear Google because, well, they’re Google.
Some images courtesy of the Noun Project