Finding this year’s hot travel trend is easy. Just look in a travel magazine.No, don’t look at the articles. Those just tell you what one specific writer or editor happens to like.
To really find out what is trending in the travel industry, look at the advertisements. Those things cost a lot of money and aren’t taken lightly. They are heavily researched, vetted, and test-marketed. If you see trends in travel magazine ads, those trends are likely the popular travel fads.
For example, take a look at a recent issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine. If you are a travel aficionado, the articles are interesting, the pictures are fascinating, and you will probably get a couple good vacation ideas. But to find out what is really the current travel trend, start from the beginning and look at the advertisements. You’ll see locals surfing in Peru, a silhouette of a hiker in Belize, canoeists on a lake in Quebec… A few pages later, you’ll see another shot of Quebec, but this time it’s bikers that are featured prominently on the page.
And so it goes through the pages. Here a hiker, there a biker, everywhere active travelers. So is it becoming clear what the informed travelers are doing this year? They’re seeing the world in a much healthier, friendlier, greener way. They are getting their travel, exercise, scenery, socialization, and environmental stewardship all in one package.
Active travel seems to be sweeping the globe, literally. Often times, the same people who tend to enjoy travel, also have a tendency toward fitness, healthy lifestyles, and ecological awareness. In addition, more and more resources are available for active travelers including websites such as ActiveTravelTours and OnTheMoveTours. And a new genre of books such as Running the World and Cycling France have emerged on the scene.
Travelers are no longer content to leave the driving to someone else. In fact, many of them prefer to steer clear of driving entirely and spend more time trekking, riding, paddling, & pedaling. In fact, not only is the active travel fad catching on, it seems to be expanding at an exponential rate. It seems that once people discover that they can control their own travel destiny, they can’t get enough of it. They are beginning to realize that active travel is less expensive, more fun, healthier, and more empowering than the old “hop on a bus w/ fifty other people” routine. And they’re coming home and telling their friends who try it and tell their friends and…
Pretty soon, active travel may be more than just a hot trend. It may be the new norm in the travel industry.