by Raquel Cool
The travel game is changing, and will only continue to do so in the next ten years. From future airports to experience destinations, here are five trends that you can expect in the next decade.
1. The Rise of Experience Lodging
AirBnb’s top rental is a mushroom dome cabin in Aptos, California. What does that tell us? People want experience destinations, and that’s not going to change.
Who wants to stay in a stuffy Motel 6 when you can zipline to your treehouse in Laos? Or stay in an underwater hotel in Dubai? Or maybe you’d like to your head at the Icehotel in Sweden, which, yes, is exactly what it sounds like. (Spoiler alert: It’s cold.)
2. Here Comes the Mini Vacation
More people will take mini vacations — AKA long weekends — rather than applying all their PTO to one vacation stretch a year. The understanding behind the science of why travel is good for you continues to grow, which will make frequent travel part of the new normal. Rather than booking a two-week vacation just once a year, spreading your time off with long weekends even better for you, notes Dr. Jessica de Bloom, an organizational psychologist who studies the psychological perks of vacationing.
Lost in translation? Not anymore!
Speaking to anyone, anywhere, is now possible thanks to technology. Apps like Google Translate and iTranslate continue to dissolve language barriers for travelers. (Try it: take a personal translator with you on your next trip!)
4. Adios, Stuffy Impersonal Airports. Hello, Future Airport Experiences
Airports of the future are going to be reconsidered as a fun, site-specific destination. Take Mexico City’s airport, which aims to reimagine the Latin American hub as a decked-out cultural experience — a cacti sculpture park as an homage to the Mexican flag’s coat of arms. The rebuild will require a 9.1 billion dollar investment. New York’s infamous La Guardia airport — yes, the La Guardia that Vice President Joe Biden compared to a “third world country” — is undergoing a five billion dollar revamp itself.
5. Travel hacking
In recent years, we’ve seen an uptick of technology hacks and tools to make travel even more accessible and affordable. From “travel hacking” talk with, a site that helps travelers find cheap plane tickets by mining layover data to reveal cheaper flights. I don’t condone it. And anti-hacking and the law will eventually catch up.
That said, as technology flattens the playing field, user-driven tools will only continue to inform how people book travel.
(Want to see the top travel apps for planning your next trip? Here’s a roundup of our top choices.)