This Is How You Will Travel In 2019
The New Year may be just around the corner, but no doubt many of you are already planning your holidays for 2019. Whether with a group of friends or solo, high end or budget, we've got five travel trends for you to keep an eye on.
Photo Credit: Airbnb
1. Group travel: Exclusive Home Rental
Groups of friends and family have been clubbing together to rent holiday villas and chalets for a while now, but in 2019 a new luxury alternative will come in the form of Beyond by Airbnb, which curates high-end homes and 'custom experiences'. An additional layer of exclusivity comes from Stay One Degree, which describes itself as the 'first social network for luxury vacation rentals', only letting people who are vetted members stay in each other’s homes, be it a seven-bedroom castle in Kent or a six-bedroom beach pad in Costa Rica. The network currently lists more than 1,000 properties in 50-plus countries and has more than 10,000 members. For those looking to micro crowdfund their next group escape, Marriott International’s new 'handpicked' Tribute Portfolio includes homes in London, Lisbon, Paris and Rome, and the Oetker Collection’s Masterpiece Estates (both debuted in 2018) ensure the high standards associated with global hotel brands.
Photo by Elle Hughes from Pexels
2. Couple’s travel: Intrepid journeys
Although the desire for a romantic getaway somewhere warm and sultry is never going to dwindle, there is increasing demand among couples for more challenging adventures that bring them closer together. Embracing fears, experiencing discomfort and taking on ambitious physical activities can inspire respect and a new-found intimacy between individuals. What’s on the menu for 2019? Specialist travel agent AITO highlights new tours such as Oasis Overland’s 'Karakorum Highway' in northern Pakistan, 'Norway’s Arctic Wilderness' from Scandinavia Only and a drive from Xian to Kathmandu with Dragoman, which will include wild camping on the Tibetan Plateau. Black Tomato says it is 'developing experiences in Djibouti, the Congo and lesser-travelled parts of the Middle East in 2019', ideal for duos looking to satisfy their wanderlust. Experiential travel experts Pelorus is also a great resource for private adventures, whether it is infiltrating tribal communities in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea or tracking pumas in Patagonia.
3. Solo travel: co-living
Travelling alone can be lonely when you’re not a student backpacker as hotels aren’t the easiest places to make friends, hostels can be a little rough around the edges and Airbnbs can be isolating as guests often find themselves in residential neighbourhoods rather than city centres. The solution is co-living – essentially a form of modern commune for young professionals – which is generating a following both among locals and out-of-towners. One of the co-living leaders, WeLive (sister company to WeWork), now has apartment complexes with trendy shared social spaces, events programmes, yoga classes and even hot tubs in New York and Crystal City. People can stay for a few days or a few months. Roam is present in Bali, Miami, Tokyo and San Francisco and is opening in New York and London soon. Lyf by Ascott, which is 'designed by millennials for millennials' will have three properties in Singapore, one in Cebu City and one in Shenzhen between now and 2021. In London there is The Collective, which is also expanding into Brooklyn. In New York’s Financial District is The Assemblage St John Street hotel, which features Meyer Davis-designed studio apartments, free laundry, housekeeping and an Ayurvedic café.
4. Tech: Cryptocurrency Bookings
Whether you are withdrawing money at an overseas ATM or exchanging cash in advance, travellers always lose some of their funds to foreign exchange rates and commission. Although the average holidaymaker is unlikely to have a virtual wallet full of Bitcoins just yet, cryptocurrencies do promise a highly secure, universal payment system with no associated fees. From 2019, using cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, LiteCoin and Bitcoin to book trips will begin to gain traction. Today, 450,000 hotels around the world (including the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo) accept Ethereum payments through an app called Tripio, although it’s target market is Asia. A handful of other companies such as Cheapair, Peach Air, Surf Air, Air Baltic have also built in capability to process such transactions.
Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels
5. Transport: Biometric Airports
Thanks to recent iPhone models, most consumers are familiar with using fingerprint and facial recognition to bypass entering passwords. It won’t be long until this kind of technology will be commonly employed to bypass queues at check-in, boarding and immigration, replacing laborious manual checks of boarding passes and passports. For the last year or so, British Airways has been trialling biometric gates at American airports including Orlando, New York and Miami, and in 2019, London Heathrow will debut 'the world’s largest deployment of biometrically enabled products including bag drops and self-boarding gates' at a cost of $63 million. The idea is that passengers will be able to walk through every check point from arrival to plane without showing any documentation, reducing journey time by a third. According to SITA, 77 per cent of airports and 71 per cent of airlines are planning major programmes or research and design into biometric ID management during the next five years. Over in Dubai, Emirates has launched a new 'biometric path' at Dubai International, while Delta Air Lines has introduced fingerprint entry at domestic Delta Sky Club lounge.