(BEGODI) – Travel will never go out of fashion, but the way that people travel is constantly changing. Shifts in society, the environment, technology and the opportunities that travel presents has created a very different framework for exploration in 2017 than before. Let’s take a look at some of these trends, and see where you fit in with the new normal of globe trotters.
People are no longer satisfied with commercially popular destinations. Places that have been numerously photographed, toured and represented have become predictable and simply lost their inspiring appeal.
Travellers instead seek off the beaten track locations. These are places that their friends and family have not been before (and perhaps have not even heard of). Alternative countries, cities and villages come with no yardstick of expectation. They thus present a mysterious world of excitement to be discovered.
They are also usually free of other tourists, presenting a more challenging yet local experience. Itineraries and rigid travel guides are tossed aside and instead the trip opens up to spontaneity and boundless exploration.
This craving for the unconventional travel journey also ties in with a pursuit of the authentic. Wanderers want to get under the skin of these unfamiliar spaces, and truly understand a place and its inhabitants. The distance between foreign tourist and fellow human being is chipped away until genuine connections are all that remains.
Travellers opt to spend time with locals rather than countless hours looking at monuments through a camera lens. Less time is spent observing and more is dedicated to actually doing; being an active participant in their surroundings.
When adopting these techniques of openness and involvement, travel becomes revitalised and new again. It is steeped in unique and unexpected experiences, and memories that were not directed or curated.
An increased awareness of social and environmental crises has caused a shift in the way that explorers approach travel. The urgency for active change leads them to find more responsible ways to shop, eat, live and interact while abroad.
Voluntourism is a recent trend that is supported by travellers young and old. They are able to give time to a worthy local cause while still experiencing beautiful landscapes. It allows all parties to benefit from the tourism industry – one which often impacts local areas negatively.
Homestays are a responsible housing alternative that has gained popularity. Locals warmly open their homes to individuals or groups that move through their area. They even provide food in addition to a place to sleep. The money thus goes directly to those who need it most, and priceless firsthand knowledge is gifted to gracious visitors.
Overland travel is another previously overlooked option that is kinder to the environment. Buses and trains are being reconsidered as viable means of domestic and even international travel. As flights use much more fuel to take off, moving along the tracks is the most sustainable way to go.
The contents of one’s travel bucket-list have altered drastically due to environmental and social changes. Many places are melting, drowning and disappearing as the effects of climate change become increasingly tangible. Travellers are therefore bumping these soon-to-be-no-more places to the top of their lists. Seeking a last glance at some of the world’s dwindling wonders becomes the new priority.
Political changes have also happened that will have a major effect on many people’s ease of movement. Country relations and border restrictions are pending hindrances for some to get to certain destinations in future. These places will thus be pushed to the top of the list before policies complicate the travel climate.
A rise in technology and networking has greatly reduced the cost, difficulty and time restraints of travelling over the past few decades. A booming rise in technology and networking has greatly reduced the cost, difficulty and time restraints of travelling.
The cosmopolitan world is significantly and conveniently connected online. Hence there are ways to find work or live and ride for free that did not exist a generation ago. This has allowed millennials to travel affordably and resourcefully, making young people the new leading demographic of travellers.
Female solo travel
Solo travel is another trend that has increased considerably over the years. Females in particular are travelling alone much more than before, perhaps somewhat connected to the rise in social networking. There are so many ways for independent wanderers to connect with others while on the road. Females can find and seek support from others in the same boat (and neighbourhood) as them with assured ease. The safety risks and loneliness of not having a support system are therefore hardly features of solo travel anymore.
So, how many of these trends have you been taking part in during your travels? Let us know in the comments and continue to boldly reform the face of travel with us!
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