One of the most exciting things about travel is that there’s always something new to experience - whether it’s changing technology, new attractions, or anything in between. It’s no surprise that the way we travel changes each year, so read on to find out what we think is changing and how it will benefit you in 2017.
The Brexit effect
Brexit could potentially make travelling to the UK much cheaper, with the pound dropping considerably and exchange rates turning in our favour. Not only that, it has also prompted more sales than ever before, which is a great bonus for those who enjoy retail therapy. Travel agents are predicting much more travel to the UK in 2017 from thrifty travellers wanting to make the most of the exchange rate. Now’s the time to visit some beautiful historic castles, shop up a storm in London or book that whiskey tasting tour you’ve always wanted to do!
Cattle vs. Class
Premium economy is the new go-to for smart travellers who want a bit more comfort than economy, but don’t want to pay for business class. In an industry where it feels like seats are getting smaller and aircraft more jammed (or is it just us?), premium economy might not have the same service levels as business and first class, but you get the extra leg room without the steep price tag. If jet lag isn’t bad enough, arriving at your destination with aches and pain from being squeezed in starts you off on the wrong foot.
Anyone who’s had to endure a long flight in cramped conditions will understand the value of that extra bit of leg room and why it’s becoming such a trend.
Let me entertain you
On-board and airport terminal Wi-Fi means travellers now have complete freedom of choice when it comes to travel entertainment.
Passengers are increasingly bringing their own devices when travelling, a trend that’s set to rise in 2017. A recent report published by Expedia shows that 60% of millennial travellers (the generation born between 1980-1999) pay for inflight Wi-Fi currently.
Whether it’s to avoid watching local sitcoms on holiday, or to listen to your favourite podcasts and bands during the flight, your travel entertainment options are becoming endless.
Some airlines are even hiring out iPads to passengers, instead of using built-in entertainment. Not only that, but you can look at Facebook while in the air.
Check with the airline beforehand about charging your device, as many planes are now adding inbuilt charging ports to seats for extra convenience. Using your tablet on-board also means it’s with you, as tablets that are stolen from checked in luggage are not covered under the TravelCare policy.
AirBnb has blown up in popularity in recent years, but it has also spurred a whole new way of thinking when it comes to places to stay on holiday. Accommodation providers are increasingly thinking outside the box and money is becoming less important, with people keen to trade skills as payment. More value is being placed on learning languages on sites like TalkTalk BnB, or looking after people’s homes on sites like Nomador, than just paying for accommodation.
Imagine staying with locals who simply want to learn your language in return for a place to stay! After all, of those surveyed* 86% travel to experience new culture. A good thing to know is that some countries have laws against staying at places such as AirBnb, so make sure you do your homework before booking anything.
It’s always a good idea to either keep your valuables with you at all times, or don’t take them travelling, but there are some handy gadgets that can also help you out with keeping your stuff safe.
Streamlining the travel process using technology isn’t a new idea, but its capabilities are always increasing. Whether you want to check in before you leave home or your hotel, choose your seat or meal, or even carry your boarding pass on your phone – there are more choices now than ever before. It’s no surprise travel tech is so rapidly developing, with a recent study by the World Youth and Student Educational travel Confederation (WYSE) showing that the ability to book a vacation using mobile devices is now the second biggest consideration after price, for people aged 16-30.
More and more, airports are creating their own downloadable apps, so you can negotiate the terminal like a pro. In some cases, you can sort out your hotel transfer too.
Just remember, even if you have copies on your smartphone or tablet, it’s still a good idea to stay a little bit old school and have printed copies of all your bookings when you travel – just in case your hotel isn’t as tech-savvy as you are, or you have phone issues and can’t connect.
With all the information and applications at our fingertips, it’s no surprise people are taking travel booking into their own hands and using travel agents less frequently.
People are increasingly looking for bespoke experiences tailored to their interests or specific areas they’d like to visit. Many destinations that once had to be booked through travel agents are not only open to the public, but also available for booking online. Doing it yourself also means you’re aware of all costs and there are no hidden fees or taxes.
Pinterest and Facebook are serving as sources of inspiration and, with apps like the newly launched Google Trips, planning your own trip exactly the way you want it has never been easier.
Research gets social
Peer review based research is on the rise for accommodation, restaurants, and places to visit. Many travellers are basing a large part of their research on reviews and feedback sections on booking sites. Reading user reviews and ratings gives a fair spectrum of feedback and many reviewers might mention things you hadn’t even thought of checking. Travel blogs, Pinterest and Tripadvisor have all contributed to this rise in popularity, with travellers sharing their knowledge and experiences with others.
Reports* show that 76% of Millennial travellers make decisions based on recommendations from friends and 82% consider travel reviews important!
Reviews are great for knowing you’re getting what you expect, so you can avoid being out of pocket if your accommodation isn’t up to scratch when you arrive.
Bleisure travel isn’t a new concept. Who hasn’t thought about taking an extra couple of days at the end of a business trip to enjoy themselves and explore the area?
However, thinking about it and doing it are very different and latest trends show far more people are walking the talk.
The current generation are far more concerned about work- life balance, which translates to how they spend time on business trips. According to a 2012 study by Net impact, 51% of university students surveyed rated work-life balance as an essential factor when choosing a job, with a further 37% suggesting it’s very important.
People are taking advantage of business trips more and more and even flying spouses or family members over to enjoy their downtime with them. In fact, a recent study* shows that 62% of 18-30 year olds have extended a business trip into a personal vacation.
It’s becoming so common, some companies are now building dedicated holiday time in either side of business trips for employees, a trend that can only to grow in 2017.
If you’re heading overseas 2017, make the most of what’s available to you to maximise your trip. Whether it’s reading peer reviews, house sitting in a French villa or using airport apps to blitz through transit, the world’s your oyster. Get out there and enjoy it!