Travels with Bob

Six Leisure Travel Trends


The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) are only one of many natural features making Iceland a “hot” adventure destination.

Leisure travelers around the world are discovering experiential travel where the experience becomes more important than the destination. This evolution has created many new opportunities for travelers, especially those seeking a more personal experience focused on their special interests.

Here are six leisure travel trends dominating vacations this year —

Inter-Generational Travel—It’s not uncommon today to find grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters creating special memories together through leisure travel, especially when they share common interests. Many such travelers desire to learn about their family’s heritage by visiting their ancestral roots.

Travel providers increasingly cater to the growing number of extended families desiring to travel together. You will find many cruise companies and tour operators, for example, designing itineraries created specifically to attract travelers age eight to 80 due to the growing demand for such travel. Family reunions and milestone anniversary celebrations are frequently found aboard cruise ships, which provide excellent venues for group activities, as well as plenty of opportunities for guests to go their own way whenever they desire.

Custom Luxury Travel is booming but it’s no longer defined by how much you spend. A luxury trip to one person may mean something entirely different to another traveler. People today appear more likely to define luxury as travel created specifically for them whether it’s a week on a secluded fishing lake or a six-month cruise around the world. Such travelers are more interested in having their specific travel needs and desires met.

Adventure-Action Travel, now embraced by young and old alike, provides a more fulfilling experience for a growing segment of leisure travelers. It’s important, however, to focus on your unique skills and interests, while understanding your physical limitations. Action travel may involve such activities as climbing iconic mountains around the world, diving above a coral reef, or simply pursuing your passion for art, music and many other special interests.

Sustainability Travel has become increasing popular since the United Nations declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. Such travel usually provides opportunities to get closer to nature while giving back to communities you visit. Although many people remain somewhat confused about what this type travel entails, nearly 70 percent of leisure travelers indicate they are more likely to select eco-friendly accommodations. Volunteering holidays, offering a combination of work and leisure opportunities, represent another form of sustainability travel increasingly popular among young adult travelers.

Fitness and Wellness Travel also has become increasing popular, especially among busy executives desiring a retreat from the grind of decision-making or a stressful workplace. You will find the best spa resorts hidden away in tropical rain forests, on secluded islands, or within the upper decks of premium and luxury cruise ships. Such travel usually exposes the individual to eco-friendly environments as well. You likely will return home rejuvenated in both mind and body even if it’s only a short get away from your daily routine.

Solo travel represents another growing trend as more and more people seek out such opportunities. Traveling solo allows you to set the agenda and spend more time exploring your favorite sites. Solo travelers are more likely to engage people they meet along the way, and locals are usually more welcoming and willing to assist individual foreign travelers. Furthermore, traveling alone presents a wonderful time for introspection and learning as much about oneself as about the destination.

NOTE: This post was excerpted from an article I wrote recently for the Fall Issue of Amazons Watch Magazine, published by the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development (CELD), a non-governmental organization in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.