2. 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:
3. 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.
4. Havana nights:
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.
5. Globetrotting Travel:
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.
6. 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
7. Tiny travel:
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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Freaky fast:
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
11. 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.
12. 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
13. 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.
14. 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.”
15. 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.”
16. Merger madness:
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
17. 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.