Tag Archives: Travel

What Are The Travel Trends of 2019?

Caribbean beach
Caribbean beach
Source: Pixabay

Even with last year’s worries in many cities about over-tourism, a steadily increasing number of people are traveling around the world. Is one of your goals for 2019 to travel more? We take a look at the top travel trends of the year, including ways to break away from the crowds and try something new.

The Top Location: The Caribbean

After a difficult time with the hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, most of the islands that were hit are recovered enough – or will be shortly – to welcome tourists from all over. And they are expecting a boom in traveler numbers this year! Puerto Rico even tailored some of their reconstruction efforts towards infrastructure improvements and upgrades aimed at tourists. Dominica, a smaller island more tuned to outdoor adventures without huge resorts, is a great destination for the eco-minded with eco-lodges and breathtaking backpacking trails. With the island not on the list for mass tourism, it is a perfect place to spend your money and help rebuild the island. With more nonstop flights from the USA to the Caribbean, access is easier and potentially cheaper this year.

Conscious And Social Impact Travel

As seen by the Caribbean’s post-hurricane popularity for 2019, people are looking more and more to do something positive with their travels. Travelers have gained a greater awareness of social issues in various countries and are choosing their destinations based on criteria such as LGBTQI-friendliness, political influences in tourism, and possibilities to engage with local communities. Ecotourism and responsible tourism have been gaining in popularity over the past few years. People wish to reduce poor influences of tourism on local communities and instead drive development and socioeconomic growth of small communities through sustainable methods.

Boutique Travel Agencies

Boutique travel agencies are popping up to offer unique tailored trips to travelers. Millennials are driving this trend with their desire for unique experiences every chance they can get. An increasing number of travel agencies are providing itineraries that go beyond the typical tourist spots and sites. Having an agent do all the research and organization, taking the hassle out of traveling, is especially important to today’s busy workers. Agencies are also seeing a boom in surprise package holidays. Travelers only know when they will be gone, but not where!

 

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Solo Travel

No longer a niche market, traveling alone and at one’s own pace is continuing to gain popularity. Rather than worrying about pleasing a significant other, family, or group of friends, solo travel provides a way to explore exactly what you wish. Some top locations include: Costa Rica for its amazing beaches, Stockholm which features great safety, especially for solo female travelers, and New York City for a city break where it’s easier to fit things in for just one person. Solo traveling allows you to do any and everything you want at your own pace!

Multi-Generational Travel And Family Gap Years

More families are and will be traveling together for longer periods of time. With an estimated 50% of British and Americans working freelance by 2020 and an increasing number of children home-schooled, families have more freedom to travel without being tied to one location. Families are making goals to explore the world together and really dive into cultures. Adults are also increasingly including their parents on trips, a number that has doubled over the past few years.

Staycations And Micro-Tripping

Traveling does not have to mean spending a lot of money and time to go to an exotic location. In today’s poor economy, people do not necessarily have the money to go far away on vacation. Staycations and micro-tripping are two trends in an interest to save money and due to a lack of time off at work. Staycations involve staying home and exploring one’s city and surroundings and has been a trend since the Great Recession but shows no signs of going away. Micro-tripping includes weekend trips, something that 53% of global travelers say is their greater interest currently versus longer travels.

More Efficient Travel Thanks To Technology

Technology is also changing travel. For example, cryptocurrencies are seeing an increase in popularity as a way to pay rather than worrying about exchange and commission rates. Tech-obsessed Asian countries are leading the way, with other countries to follow. Additionally, flying is becoming easier with airport check-ins that use facial recognition technology. Two examples of airports that have led the way with biometrics are Sydney Airport which partnered with airline Qantas on testing facial recognition-only check-ins and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the most-frequented airports in the world, which opened a biometric terminal at the end of 2018. In Atlanta, passengers with Delta can go curbside to gate all biometrically. Airports are also using more robots to interact with passengers from parking assistants to welcome assistants that provide updated information.

So how and where will you go in 2019?

5 of the Most Opulent Yachts

With superyachts measuring longer than some cruise ships, it is difficult to understand how they can be called yachts. A quick definition check and you will see that to be classified a yacht, the vessel will be used purely for recreation.  So here they are. The most luxurious yachts ever built.

  1. Al Mirqab

Al Mirqab
Source: Yacht Charter Fleet

The Al Mirqab was built for the Prime Minister of Qatar in 2008, and arguably has the most spacious guest suites of all the yachts. In addition to the usual helicopter pads, bars and Jacuzzis, the ten guest suites on the Al Mirqab each have their own bathroom, dining room and double bedroom.

  1. The Eclipse

The Eclipse
Source: Boat International

Built by Blohm + Voss, the Eclipse was, until the release of the Azzam, the largest superyacht. The eclipse features two helicopter pads, two swimming pools, a mini-submarine, three landing boats and twenty-four cabins. There is also a missile detection system, in case they find themselves sharing the sea with Superyacht A. This luxury yacht accommodates 70 crew members to ensure that the guests’ every whim is tended to.

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  1. Azzam

Azzam
Source: wanderglobe.org

Today the Azzam still holds the title for the longest of the superyachts in the world, measuring in at a massive 592’6” ft. (180.60m). Even with her hefty size, she still reaches up to 30 knots. Rumoured to have 50 suites, even four years after her release, finding details about her interior is difficult.

  1. Superyacht A

Superyacht A
Source: Pinterest

You will be forgiven for thinking the Navy has anchored off the coastline when you see Superyacht A. The sleek exterior and communications equipment gives her the look of a naval vessel. Not as deadly though, and her stylings definitely make a statement.

A more intimate vessel, she accommodates only fourteen guests in seven cabins, and forty-two crew members. This beauty boasts a disco and convertible suite with moving walls.

  1. The Dilbar

The Dilbar
Source: Luxury Charter Group

Considered the largest (but not the longest) of the superyachts, the Dilbar has the largest indoor pool ever to be built on a superyacht. Physics dictate that the pool would need to be drained every time the yacht has to move. Meaning it would need to be refilled at every stop to be ready for the owner to use. Other features include a movie theatre, spa, and helicopter pad, but the most interesting part of the construction is the separate crew passageway. Because who wants to bump into the pesky working class unless they are bringing you a fresh cocktail?

The ultimate show of your net worth is the purchase of a yacht. Spending millions on a vessel built purely for recreation and decorating it with only the most luxurious and opulent finishes. Owning a yacht is your membership card to the true 1% club.

Bizarre Landmarks from Paris to Polynesia

World landmarks
Source: Pixabay

From Paris to islands in the southeast Pacific, the world has become our playground. Travelling is more accessible than ever before. As when travelling in any foreign country, at some stage you are going to come across some interesting landmarks. Just don’t be surprised if the answer includes ‘turn left at the thumb…’

Paris, France

Le Pouce Paris
Source: Le Parisien

Le Défense is Paris’ major business district, and situated in the centre is The Thumb or Le Pouce. This statue of a giant thumb weighs over 18 tons. It is, in fact, the largest reproduction of the artist, Cesar Baldaccinni’s thumb, the first of which stood only 40 cm high. Cesar’s art style was dubbed New Realist and he was strangely obsessed with his thumb. Today its replica stands, imperfections exposed, in sharp contrast to its manicured surroundings.

Georgia, USA

Georgia Guidestones
Source: Amusing Planet

We all know the apocalypse is on our doorstep every other day. Okay, we’ve got it wrong a few times, but the next time is definitely it. Luckily for us, there will be one less thing for the survivors to figure out, thanks to the Georgia Guidestones, which lay out the Ten Commandments for an “Age of Reason”. There are many stories about the origins of the Guidestones and the commandments. Some make perfect sense, like ‘be not a cancer on this earth’. Yet others, like ‘limiting humanity to a mere 500 million’, not so much – unless you can overlook the massive percentage of the population that would need to disappear for this to happen. Here’s hoping the stones survive the end of the world as we know it.

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Brussels, Belgium

Mannekin Pis Brussels
Source: Land Lopers

The little pee man, or Mannekin Pis can be seen in Brussels. This little guy is happily having a pee into the basin below. Due to numerous kidnapping incidents, the original is now housed in the Museum of the City of Brussels. There are a few legends surrounding the origins of this statue and it seems to have started a trend. The new additions include statues of a peeing girl and a peeing dog at other sites in Brussels.

Bern, Switzerland

Kindlifresserbrunnen Bern
Source: Notable Travels

Another, although much more disturbing statue, is the Kindlifresserbrunnen found in Bern. This statue shows a creature snacking on some kids. Not kids of the goat variety, but the tiny human kind. The statue is by no means modern and has been there since 1546. Theories behind its symbolism range from Antisemitism to a child-eating beast, sent to punish naughty children. The statue and expression of the living snacks is quite disturbing.

Rapa Nui, Polynesia

Rapa Nui Polynesia
Source: The Conversation

The Moai of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) are human faced statues that date back between 1100 and 1500 CE. There have been 1000 of these statues documented and studied. Interestingly, they all face inward to the centre of the island, not out toward the sea. This suggests they were built to worship deities rather than stand sentry for the island, but what makes them truly amazing is their size. At 40ft. (12 meters) high these are sizable faced monoliths.

Some landmarks are downright strange, and as unique as the cities they belong to. Because what city would be complete without a landmark as equally strange as a statue of a cherub like boy, having a pee, into a fountain?