How, why, where, and with whom will we travel next year?... A major new study by Booking.com has revealed what we can expect from travel, and travellers in 2018.
Predictably, technology will play a key role, with immersion through AI technology helping travellers better understand a destination prior to booking. According to the study, nearly two in three (64%) travellers say they would like to ‘try before they buy’ with a VR preview, while three in ten (29%) say they’re comfortable letting a computer design a trip based on a traveller’s history.
Bucket list travel will also be big, with most (82%) travellers who have a bucket list in mind aiming to tick one or more destinations off their list in 2018.
Despite the new adventures, travellers will also have a longing for the past, with over a third of travellers (34%) considering a holiday they experienced as a child for the next year.
Pop culture will be another to get a big look-in in 2018, with travellers becoming increasingly influenced by their favourite television shows, films, sport and social media. Blogs and YouTube will be especially important for sparking inspiration (for 39% of travellers).
Health and wellness getaways are predicted to almost double in 2018 (over 2017) to nearly one in five trips, with walking and hiking holidays on the cards for over half (56%) of travellers.
Meanwhile, nearly half (48%) of those polled said they would consider a destination’s “economic climate” before making the decision to travel. Nearly the same number (47%) will consider currency exchange rates, indicating a financially considerate approach to holidaying.
Reflecting the biggest sector increase, group travel is becoming mainstream travel, with one in four travellers (up from one in five) polled saying they would be travelling with a group of friends next year.
Finally, travellers will be looking to live like a local, and not with one as rental home usage skyrockets. According to the study, one in three (33%) travellers will look to stay in a holiday rental over a hotel in 2018.
The Booking.com analysis combined customer feedback from over 128 million guest reviews with research from 19,000 travellers across 26 countries.