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2019 Travel Trend Predictions

From remote island travel to new airport technology, here is what’s on the horizon for travel trends in the coming year.

travel trends

Wildlife-focused adventure travel is becoming more popular.

Now is the time to start putting your travel plans for 2019 in motion. Whether you’ll be staying in the U.S. or embarking on an international adventure, these travel trends are shaping options for the coming year.

Adventure travel will head in wild directions

With a preference for the unique and worldly, millennials contributed to the growth of adventure travel and are guiding it in new directions. Wildlife-focused trips seem to be taking preference in the coming year. Among 2019 travel trends are tours focused on educating travelers on everything from endangered species to herd migration. Keeping the new generation of adventure travelers in mind, AAA’s new  company, Club Adventures, designs trips that go beyond traditional tourism. Club Adventures allows visitors to truly get in touch with a place and its people through bike and kayak tours, immersive nature treks, cooking classes and other culturally rich experiences. Learn more.

Biometric technology at airports will become widespread

The use of biometric technology is rapidly expanding. Orlando International Airport now uses it to process all international travelers, and other airports are expected to follow suit. In an effort to create a seamless experience, airports using biometric technology scan travelers’ faces and match the scans to passenger details, moving everyone along (hopefully) more smoothly.

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Travelers will seek intimate seafaring experiences aboard yacht cruises

Those looking to avoid crowds and cramped quarters on major cruise lines are taking advantage of the spacious and intimate experiences of yacht cruises. With fewer guests per cruise, travelers can expect personalized service and a more leisurely experience. Complete with entertainment options including concerts. Reservations are open for Ritz-Carlton’s much-anticipated fleet of yachts, which will set sail in 2020. Other options include a number of small cruise lines that provide a more intimate seafaring experience.

travel trends

A quiet place on the island of Koh Yao Noi in southern Thailand.

Remote islands will attract more visitors

The idea of walking along pristine coastlines far from the crowds prompts travelers to seek islands that are more and more remote. Exotic locations attract those seeking a true escape from the everyday, while providing enough outdoor activities to keep everyone busy. On the laid-back island of Koh Yao Noi in Thailand, visitors can soak in the sun, explore unspoiled surroundings by kayak or enjoy snorkeling.  Thatched-roof bungalows offer a relaxed setting to welcome the day. With some of the most breathtaking views in the South Pacific, Aitutaki in the Cook Islands features a turquoise lagoon and all the makings of a true island paradise; plus plenty of options for sailing and windsurfing.

Puerto Rico will benefit from a tourism boost

In the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, tourism to Puerto Rico entered a gradual but steady recovery. That progress will receive a boost in the early part of 2019 due to the arts, when Lin-Manuel Miranda reprises the title role in “Hamilton:  An American Musical” in San Juan. Even after “Hamilton” comes to a close in late January, the resorts, fortresses and vibrant energy should remain major draws.


Americans will take shorter, more focused, road trips

Whether it’s the ease of getting in the car and hitting the road or the flexibility of being able to stop along the way, travel trends suggest road trips will be a popular option among families in the upcoming year. For Independence Day 2018 alone, 39.7 million Americans planned a road trip, according to INRIX research conducted in collaboration with AAA. With domestic travel constituting a high percentage of American vacations, families are heading to the road year-round for shorter, more focused road trips centered around key destinations like museums, beaches and cultural attractions.

Tourists will take to the European railways

For a European tour that passes through coastal areas, vineyards and even glaciers, travelers will turn to the railways. Cross the Swiss Alps while sitting in a comfortable, modern car, or travel seamlessly from France to Spain on a high-speed train. Find out how you can plan and book a train vacation with AAA.

Whether you prefer to explore the Alps on a European train tour or take a trip to a major cultural destination in the U.S., the upcoming year offers inspired travel opportunities. With customizable experiences geared toward distinct travel style preferences, it’s possible to indulge a spirit for adventure or relaxation, with or away from the crowd.

Plan and book your next vacation with AAA. 


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