I love fall – the days are more relaxed, the leaves are falling from the trees, and I am looking forward to my favorite winter holidays. For many of us as we gather with friends and family we talk about where we traveled over the last year and where we hope to go next year. As you consider some of your next trips, here are some trends to consider.
Health and Wellness are Still Top of Mind
Many travelers are looking for ways to enhance their health and wellness as part of their trip. They may look for accommodations that are a little bit larger so they can have some space to themselves. Family suites with a room for the parents, a room for the kids, and a common area with an area to eat, play, and hang out together are very popular. Cabins with a private balcony and maybe a jacuzzi or plunge pool sell out quickly on cruise ships. And private villas everywhere from a beach in the Caribbean to the countryside of Europe are still extremely popular.
Protecting Your Travel Investment with Insurance
We have always encouraged our clients to purchase travel insurance, and now more than ever travelers are adding these policies to their travel plans. Travel insurance can provide reimbursement for a trip for a “covered reason” of canceling, assistance while traveling for a trip disruption or delay, and emergency medical and dental coverage while traveling. Picking the right policy for a trip can be confusing and there is no “best” option that covers every trip. Travelers need to consider the possibility of the need for a last-minute cancellation vs a delay of a trip and the cancellation terms of the hotel or cruise among other things. Travel insurance generally costs between 5-8% of the total trip cost so it’s really a pretty small investment for peace of mind and assistance if you need it.
Plan Early and Consider Off-Season Travel
Planning early is so important now. We received so many last-minute requests for popular European spots this summer like Italy and Greece. Many of our partners that we work with there had to stop even talking to travel advisors about new trips before 2023 as they were overwhelmed helping current clients. Hotels were full, restaurants couldn’t take more reservations, and drivers and tour guides were completely booked. We hope the day will return when people can say “hey I have a week off next month, let’s go on vacation!” But for now, we highly recommend booking all the components of a vacation 3-6 months or more in advance. Now is actually a great time to look at your summer 2023 plans so you can reserve the hotels and tours you want, as well as your first choice for flights. Summer 2022 was really busy for most popular tourist spots, so consider traveling during the spring or fall when crowds drop off a bit.
Getting the Whole Family Involved
Many families are now blending a parent’s business trip with a family vacation turning it into a “bleisure” trip (business+leisure). They turn a one-week business trip to London into a two-week trip and add on Paris and Rome. Some are taking along grandparents, too, and really getting into the history and culture of a location. My family still talks about waking up to the sounds of Londoners walking to work in the morning in their gray and black coats (their stylish shoes are kind of loud on cobblestone streets!), and seeing them gather at the corner pubs in the evenings on their way home (when their laughter was pretty loud!). Getting into the rhythm of a city is such a cool way to experience it and appreciate how other people live.
Looking for Unique and Custom-Made Vacations
Finally, many travelers are seeking out their bucket-list trips. They want to finally see the highlights of Italy, charter the small ship for their family and see the Croatian coast from the sea, have that college reunion in a villa on a beach where everyone can just relax together, or cruise to an exotic destination. We get calls all the time where clients say “this is what I want to do, and I don’t want to mess this one up”.
Fortunately, planning detailed itineraries is our specialty! We work with our clients and our partners in every corner of the world to plan and book unique, off-the-beaten-path, memorable vacations.