Robot hotels, DNA travel packages and digital detoxes. We've scoured the latest trend reports to bring you the best and most unique travel trends you need to know about.
So, you consider yourself a bit of a jetsetter? You travel frequently, you can pack your suitcase in under 30 minutes, you know how to manoeuvre your way seamlessly through airports and lounges across the globe and your passport looks like something that would put Jason Bourne to shame.
Well that’s great, but it doesn’t necessarily make you up to speed with the latest travel trends hitting the skies, seas and slopes for 2017. And let me tell you, even the most well-travelled among us will want to know about these!
I feel special
We all like to feel special. So now that’s happening in travel packaging. Travel Service Blink is offering one-of-a-kind bespoke travel experiences that cannot be replicated in the same location - thinksutom-built accomodation and far-flung locations. Prepare the brag to your colleagues about the super special romantic holiday made just for you… but the travel experts, not actually by your boyfriend. But who’s going to notice?!
Meet the Ancestors
You've heard of the technology available to trace your ancestors using your DNA… well now it's gone literal. You can actually trace their footsteps abroad thanks to Momondo, leading the charge. What do you mean you didn't realise you were half Viking?
Perhaps you have lusted after the latest Gucci cushions or YSL throw? Well, luxury brands such as West Elm are now transforming their try before you buy theories into hotel rooms so you can spend the night sampling the best of the range before you take it home with you. And no, you can’t steal the robes!
You may be jet lagged but yes, that was a robot that just showed you to your room. And that dinosaur that just checked you in? That means you're staying at Japan’s Hen-na Hotel. The porter robot takes your bags. The door opens by facial recognition (there go the dark sunglasses) and you have your very own room robot. Only 10 per cent of the staff are human - for making beds and cooking. Beam me up!!
VR is starting to have a huge impact on the travel industry - so you can immerse yourself abroad and virtually experience a holiday before you take it. Thomas Cook recently trialled a 'Try Before You Fly' service in the UK while Marriott Hotels have created "4D teleporters” (that look like new-age phone booths) for a complete sensory experience. After popping on a VR headset, you're treated to a warm breeze, sea spray, the sound of waves and a 360 degree view of a beach in Hawaii. Marriott Hotels are also offering the world's first VR room service - basically a VR headset delivered to your room - and Qantas have started up a similar service for business and first class passengers on selected flights.
Just when you thought you were getting your head around Uber and AirBnB, they've upped the anti! Both companies are now offering travel advice services that can point you in the direction of a great restaurant or source a paid guided tour - drawing on the inside knowledge of their members.
Perhaps you like surprises - or perhaps you need to allow for more spontaneity in your life? Travel agency Pack Up + Go can organise a three-day-trip to a US city, not of your choice. You only discover your destination once you arrive at the airport. Too bad if you've brought your ski suit instead of your bathers!
Get your Zzzzzzzzz’s
If you thought the grey nomads and the dirty thirties were the travellers with all the travel money think again. The Z Generation are now being targeted for their potential spend by hotels and hostels. Jo&Joe by AccorHotels will open its doors to guests and locals in an effort to create a feeling of community. In Iceland, Oddsson will offer multi levels of accommodation depending on budget. And even the big names like Hyatt and Hilton have created their own 'youth-centric' brands. No one is left behind.
Word on the seas is that cruising is the next big thing since sliced bread. It's true. And the level of cruising is certainly the reason for it. Gilt.com have launched a number of pop up shops on their cruise ships and Globus now offer river cruising that goes further than any cruise ship has gone before. Royal Caribbean International are working hard to promote their Virtual Balconies. And Australian-owned Scenic is now launching a world-first ocean explorer that boasts helicopters and submarines. Ahoy sailor!
Not all trends are on the upside. For those who are vertically blessed (i.e. have long legs) this one’s going to be a real cramp on your style. Aircrafts are now focusing on squeezing more seats into their aircrafts with some adding an extra 100 seats in economy class. And for the new long haul flight paths being a moment away, such as Boeing’s ultra long range 777-8X distance of 17,600kms Melbourne to London is going to be one very long leg cramp! Longer legs in every respect.
You’ve got your athleisure outfit all sorted for the flight, but bleisure is the new trend to embrace. Gone are the days of a business trip without the fun tagged on the end. Bosses and business execs are seeing the benefit of tacking a day or two (or weekend) on the end of a business trip to see the sights and unwind. Fly the partner over using points, and best yet, part of the trip can even be claimed as a tax expense!
What a turn off
Losing your data roaming when you’re abroad may not be such a bad thing! The latest trend is to embrace the digital detox and switch off by choice when you're away from home. No more irrelevant emails. No more selfies. No more walking into power poles when you're on the phone. It may take a short while to adjust but that’s possibly more of an indication of how much you were in need of the switch off. And the true upside, medical research claims a digital detox can encourage weight loss! That’s a turn ON!
The Trump card
Donald Trump isn't the only one flying private these days. A Gulfstream GV can be all yours (well, yours and your rich friend’s) thanks to Presidential Bespoke Vacations now offering 16-seater journeys to your favourite bucket list destinations. Smash the piggy bank, this one’s a winner!