Top destinations and travel trends for 2018


Connecting with locals, discovering unique culinary experiences and holistic wellness are some of the top motivations for travel in 2018. 

The recently released American Express 2018 travel trend and top destinations report revealed international bookings are up 44 percent for the first quarter of the coming year as people are embarking on journeys around the globe for a multitude of reasons.  

The propriety study, which involved surveying more than 2,000 respondents, found that 57 percent of Americans have set exploring a new destination they’ve never seen before as their most important travel goal for 2018.  

Tour planners everywhere take note: Nearly half of travelers, 43 percent, said finding a local culinary spot in a hip neighborhood is one of the most exciting dining experiences while traveling.  

In addition, spontaneity continues to be incredibly important to travelers, 52 percent of whom enjoy getting lost and discovering hidden shops, restaurants or bakeries to create their own memories. Further underscoring the desire for the unexpected, 49 percent of Americans prefer trips with adventure and excitement.  

Additional highlights from the American Express report include:  

— 56 percent of U.S. travelers are willing to pay more to get better service, and 53 percent like to be pampered while traveling.  

— Luxury travelers are increasingly booking premium seating with 68 percent planning to fly first or business class in 2018.  

— 22 percent of Americans say the most important travel goal for 2018 is to disconnect from technology, work and everyday life.  

Another trend to watch for over the next 12 months is “social over solo travel.” According to American Express, solo travel still has its place, but 53 percent of Americans prefer a social travel experience during which they are able to connect with like-minded travelers for an optimal experience.  

In addition, 57 percent of Americans are seeking to interact with locals when traveling. Still, others want to stay with locals while traveling.  

The study also reveals the top 10 destinations for the coming year. The leading place to be in 2018 is Bali.  

The remaining destinations rounding out the top 10 include Costa Rica; Dubai; London; Portugal (Lisbon and Porto regions); Rome; Tel Aviv; Utah-Lorado (Park City, Salt Lake City, Aspen, Denver and Vail); Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City regions); and Zurich, Switzerland.  

———  

(TravelPulse is a leading travel authority on the Web, providing consumer travel news and insider tips and advice for an ever-changing travel world. Read more stories at travelpulse.com


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Europe’s best border-busting day trips
Europe’s best border-busting day trips

With relatively small countries and delightful public transportation, it’s easy to throw a change of scenery and culture into your European itinerary. Here are some of my favorite international day trips. London to Paris Zipping on the bullet train from London to Paris (or vice versa) in a tunnel deep below the English Channel (the “Chunnel&rdquo...
5 international trips that are cheaper than a weekend in London

We’ve told you how expensive New York City can be, but there are plenty of other destinations that will break the bank in no time at all. London is one of those places. The popular European city drew a record 19 million international visitors in 2016 alone, according to the Evening Standard, and for good reason. London is loved for its centuries-old...
Marriott’s new loyalty program: not as bad as Starwood fans feared

In the nearly 2 1/2 years since Marriott announced its intention to acquire Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the parent of Westin, Sheraton and W, skeptical customers of both companies have waited impatiently for answers to the following question: Just how many rewards and perks would Marriott take away from the 110 million members when it combined the...
Stewart Airport adopts a new identity: New York area’s budget flight hub

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. — As the baggage claim area at New York Stewart International Airport filled with passengers arriving from Dublin last month, the airport’s manager of business development, Michael Torelli, shook his head with delight.  “Awesome,” he said of the crowd.   Just two years earlier, the airport, 67...
Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, California's chefs have the natural advantage of an abundance of fresh produce from the Central Valley, a robust wine industry and a nearly perfect climate. These attributes have lured restaurateurs from San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles to the city's thriving dining scene, but natives tend to prefer spots with deep roots in the...
More Stories