Matt Long a RoamRight Blog Author

Ups and Downs: 2014 Travel Trends

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As 2013 draws to a close, it’s time to look at what will be hot in travel during the New Year. Like anything else, there are lots of fads in travel but sometimes these are more than flash in the pan interests. Here's a look at what I think will be hot and not in 2014.

HOT


Multigenerational travel

It's not unusual to invite the grandparents or aunts and uncles on a family trip, but this trend has been growing in popularity in recent years. More than just inviting everyone on a cruise, many families are now planning trips that are more action oriented like ski trips, road trips and even a multigenerational trip to Europe.

River cruises

Europe isn't just for the extended family; it's also home to a growing travel trend – river cruises. For a long time this sleepy industry was known more for carrying around aging octogenarians than providing a fun vacation. But the new river boats that cruise up and down Europe’s rivers are modern, sleek and fun. River cruise companies have also added more experiential activities, appealing to a broad range of people and allowing passengers to be as active, or not, as they like.

Affordable luxury

Luxury travel has been around for as long as there have been leisure travelers. What's changed though are the ways in which more people are catching the luxury bug. Budget travel is still popular, but even more so is budget luxury travel. Sound like an oxymoron? Well, it's not and there are many ways the average person can add some luxury to a trip from cashing in frequent flyer miles to splurging on a nice hotel room. These little touches can transform a trip from something nice to a truly exceptional adventure.

NOT


WWoofing

This is the shorthand for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, another form of agri- and voluntourism. Simply put, WWoofing is when volunteers find unique opportunities around the world to spend their vacation time working on farms. This was never an extremely popular trend, but whatever minor popularity it did have I think is diminishing quickly. When people go on vacation they really don't want to work, it’s as simple as that. It’s not a truly altruistic form of voluntourism since you’re basically working for someone for free and not benefiting people truly in need. It's a strange phenomenon and I’m happy it's (hopefully) going away.

Ecotourism

Before you write that hate comment, hear me out. I don’t believe that the concept of ecotourism, of caring about one's environmental impact during travel, is going away. But I think that the industry focus on it might be. Recent studies show that while people say they care about green and eco-conscious travel measures, they don't base their booking decisions on them. Because of this I think that the industry won’t focus on these initiatives as much, although they certainly will always be part of the travel experience.

Airline loyalty

I'm still on the fence about this one, but I think 2014 will be the year in which many loyal airline consumers start shopping around. In 2013 the commercial airline industry saw a lot of changes in frequent flyer programs, and none of them good for consumers. Points were devalued across the board, which means it’s harder and more expensive to cash them in. Several airlines also added spending thresholds, so that in order to get elite status you have to fly AND spend a lot more. Finally, with the merger of American and US Airways, there's a lot of uncertainty amongst both airlines’ frequent flyers. All of this together has pushed airline loyalty to the lowest level ever, so those days of mileage runs may be gone forever.

What trends do you think will be popular in 2014?

About the Author

Matt Long

Matt Long, a RoamRight Blog Author A luxury adventure traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his experiences with thousands of readers every day through his travel blog, LandLopers.com. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Matt is a Washington, DC based travel writer/photographer and has been featured on many other web sites and publications including BBC Travel, CNN GO, Huffington Post, AFAR Magazine and National Geographic Intelligent Travel. His work is also syndicated on the Flipboard and Pulse apps. Follow Matt on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus.

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