By Crystal McCormick
With summer just starting, it’s never too early to get into getaway mode with this year’s top summer travel trends. Tourism has evolved significantly in recent years with travelers always looking for new and better ways to enjoy destinations and experiences.
So, what does research say about this year’s summer tourism? From solo travel to volunteering vacations, here's our go-to 2018 travel trends that could make this summer getaway unlike any you’ve had before.
Wellness is a Priority
Gone are the days of chucking diet and exercise out the window while on holiday. Instead, vacation-goers are now choosing to take their healthy lifestyles with them with data showing that 17 million travelers are choosing "health and wellbeing focused" vacations over a more debaucherous getaway.
And the travel industry is taking notice of this trend of health-conscious vacations with many companies introducing new offerings for travelers to maintain their personal wellbeing on the road.
Those looking to take their wellness vacation to the next level have a variety of options including choosing destinations and accommodations that specialize in getting you in tip-top shape, physically and mentally. At Moon Palace Cancun, for example, they offer Wellness Suites with direct access to an exclusive Wellness Area pool, special room service menu, as well as aqua spinning bikes, a private instructor, and more.
More Travelers, Shorter Stays
Based on travel authority Generali Global Assistance's research, more Americans and Europeans plan to get away this summer compared to last year.
On the other hand, those vacationers will take shorter trips this time around, with the average vacationer spending a week and a half on holiday as opposed to the previous year’s average of two weeks.
But less can be more. With resorts offering vacation planning services, tours, and other activities to guests, the chances of making even shorter trips memorable is greater than ever.
Going at it Alone
If you can’t even fathom eating alone at a restaurant, this trend isn’t for you. But, if you’re all about your independence, solo travel may be the thing for you this summer.
According to travel experts, vacations for one are quickly gaining in popularity, with travelers opting to take trips without family or friends by their side – and they may just be more fulfilling.
"Traveling solo is on the rise, especially for women,” said travel editor Jessica Bisesto to Southern Living. “Going on an adventure by yourself can give you incredible opportunities that wouldn't be possible if you were traveling with a companion. You'll learn to embrace new cultures more personally, make friends outside of your comfort zone, and discover how independent and self-sufficient you really are."
Water Sports Top the List
Probably not surprising, taking advantage of crystal-clear waters tops the list of a dream vacation bucket list - because really, who doesn’t want to spend their summer holiday soaking up the sun on the water?
After compiling the most used vacation hashtags on social media, Crimson Hexagon found that surfing, waterskiing, and diving all took top spots for the most sought after vacation activities.
That helps explain why destinations like Cancun and Jamaica are increasingly popular for summer travel.
Good Deed Getaways
More and more Americans are forgoing suntans and sightseeing on their summer vacations, and instead are lending their time off to a more commendable cause, volunteering their time.
Voluntourism is where travelers aim to make a difference with hands-on experience helping out in the community, and is one of the fastest growing trends in travel today, especially with the increase of recent disasters, say travel experts.
"I think we're going to see a resurgence in voluntourism," says Misty Ewing Belles, the managing director of global public relations for Virtuoso to US News. "The need is apparent and as people look for ways to help, volunteer vacations will likely see a rise," she adds.