Life is full of trends from fashion to the latest health craze, and travel is no different. Certain cities or countries become the hot spot to visit, while others see their popularity wan. In today’s post, I’m going to take a look at some top travel trends from Farm-to-Table Hotels, to brewery tour travel. Let me know what you think about these trends and if any of these are impacting your travel plans this year.
Snap, Upload, Hashtag, Wait for Likes —Traveling for Instagram-Perfect Spots
Let’s face it, social media, and Instagram are part of our lives. Finding the perfect spot to capture an Instagram shot has become a travel trend. Whether its a colorful mural wall, some incredibly intricate architecture, an art installation or jawdropping nature shots, more and more people flock to places they have seen on Instagram and want to capture for themselves. Check out this post from Local Adventurer on the best Instgram Spots in Los Angeles.
The New and Improved Staycation
The “Staycation” or vacationing where you live, has always been a trend but in the last 10 years with social media and local blogs cropping up everywhere, its easier to learn about places and things in your own city you never knew existed. I follow San Diego bloggers and through their tips have found new places to eat, hikes, festivals, breweries and tap rooms, places to take this kids and more. This makes it fun when we have some time off to play tourist in our own city.
Procrastinators Rejoice! —Booking Last-Minute Hotels
Planning ahead is so 2010! Then it was all about using sites like Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity to find a hotel. These days, (in addition to AirBnB of course), a new travel trend in travel is waiting until last minute to book a hotel room. Apps like Hotel Tonight offer last minute discounts on amazing hotels. Typically the hotels will have availability and will offer a deeply discounted rate to Hotel Tonight within a few days of the travel date. We use this app all the time and have gotten some absolutely incredible deals on 4-5 star hotels in places like Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Pasadena and more. (note, this will backfire on you if you are trying to book a location that is incredibly busy like Palm Springs during Coachella, or some huge convention).
Move over Restaurants –People want Organic Farm-to-Table Hotels
Forget simply going to a farm to table restaurant, many people are now traveling to have a whole organic experience at hotels around the world. In addition to the food, people are looking for hotels to provide local amenities (think soaps, art, décor, wine, beer and spirits and more). They want their food to be grown on-site and the ability to visit the garden, Some examples of this are Flora Farms in Los Cabos, Mexico (very close to Cabo San Lucas). The Farm is not only home to an organic farm to table restaurant, Flora’s Field Kitchen but also has cottages that you can rent to stay on the property. McMenamin’s Edgefield location in Troutsville, Oregon not only has a sizable farm which supplies their restaurants but it also has a hotel, winery and brewery on site. For more, check out this list of eight farm to table hotels.
Wine-focused trips like a weekend in Napa or Sonoma have been around for decades and are still and always will be a travel trend. The newest travel trend however is traveling to experience beer. I’m not talking about a pub crawl, but traveling to the actual breweries where the beer is made. There are a number of cities that are pouring a lot of effort into making their town a beer aficionado’s destination. For example, in San Diego there are over 140 craft breweries, most of which have tasting rooms, and several have some really great restaurants attached (Stone, Belching Beaver, etc). To meet the need there are a growing number of beer tour operators that offer transport from location to location. Many times you can do a tour of the facilities to see how the beer is made in addition to your tasting. Some other cities to check out on this front are Denver, Colorado, Portland, Oregon and many more.
Travel can be incredibly expensive. Once you pay for flights, hotels, food and activities you could easily find yourself exhausting your savings account. This is where one of the top travel trends – Home Swapping comes in. There are a number of global exchange websites that for a small fee to join, you can post your home, and swap houses with other people around the world. This sounded crazy to me at first until I started looking into it and realized how brilliant it is. Without having to pay for housing, the possibilities for destinations open up. Plus, you can carefully choose your destinations and there is some comfort in simultaneously swapping with another exchange member. Living in someone else’s home may seem weird but I think AirBnB and Uber have opened up the door of what most of us are comfortable with these days. Many of us want a more authentic experience when we travel. We don’t want to just be relegated to the tourist areas of a city, we want to see it like a local and that is just what home swapping does. We just joined a home exchange site and are doing our first exchange this summer. I can’t wait! Some of the exchange sites include: HomeExchange.com and LoveHomeSwap.com.
Avoiding Top Tourist Spots
Pier 39 in San Francisco, Times Square in New York, Seaport Village in San Diego, these are all spots designed with the tourist in mind. They are also all spots that a local wouldn’t go to. Many travelers today are avoiding these tourist spots, and instead doing research into local hot spots. They want to go where the people who live there go. A while back my husband and I were in San Ynez doing some wine tasting and we were at a winery and ended up having a great conversation with the woman pouring our wine. We asked her, where do you guys go to taste wine? Where do you go out to eat? Instead of getting cookie cutter advice about well known spots, she guided us to some incredible local spots that were a bit off the beaten track, but exactly what we were looking for. Its a great idea to befriend a local when you get to your destination and ask them, “where do you eat? What is your favorite thing to do or see here?
Are these trends impacting your travel plans this year? What did I miss? Comment below I would love to hear from you!