Now that 2018 is in full swing, it’s time to keep looking ahead and predict what 2018 travel trends might start to or continue to rise. Combining my propensity to travel and my nerd tendencies to research things to death I’ve devised my top 5 travel trends for 2018.

2018 Travel Trends

Travel Trend 1 – Surprise Vacations

Whether it’s planning your own surprise trip for someone or having a company plan a trip for you, I think surprise trips are going to grow in popularity in 2018. We started surprising each other with a weekend getaway each year for our birthdays in lieu of a gift. It saves us money in a roundabout way since we already go on weekend getaways to help recharge when we can’t go on longer trips. Companies like Pack Up and Go (we’ve never used them but it looks so fun!) are also starting to crop up that will plan a surprise weekend for everyone going.

Travel Trend 2 – Adventure/Experiential Travel Will Continue to Rise

As Millenials continue to have more expendable income, so will the rise in adventure/experiential travel. “Experiences over things” is a favored mantra of this group, myself included. Not only will experiences be prioritized, but authentic, off-the-beaten path locations will gain more international trailers.  According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization that by 2020 developing countries in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America will have more international travelers than developed countries, accounting for 55% of the market share.

Travel Trend 3 – Keeping Locations Secret on Instagram

It’s no surprise that Instagram is changing how people travel. Based on discussions and posts I’ve seen from travel influencers, I think there may be a shift in tagging locations in their posts. One argument, which I think is solid, is that social influencers have a responsibility to protect the natural beauty of the location. Locations that were once treasured secrets have been destroyed by the onslaught of people ‘doing it for the gram’ and trampling the area without a second thought.

Now, I’m not saying that people will never tag a location on their posts, but don’t be surprised to find influencers that don’t tag a location when it’s not tied to a brand campaign to be a little more tight lipped with where some of their photos were taken. And for good reason, the Instagram crowds may be ruining nature and monuments.  Countless numbers of people see beautiful photos on Instagram and want to go to that location only to take that one photo to garner likes and followers on Instagram without preserving the beauty for those that come after them. I think there will be a shift in how big Instagram accounts, and even some smaller ones, will handle location tagging due to how Instagram is impacting travel.

Travel Trend 4 – Tailored Experiences

Somewhat related to travel trend 2, travelers will seek out more unique, tailored experiences. And somewhat related to travel trend 3, it’s because unique experiences seem more and more difficult to find these days. Travelers are going to seek out experiences tailored to their exact preferences rather than an out-of-the-box tour package. Airbnb has already taken notice of this trend. Expect to see more and more concierge like services and companies pop-up.

Travel Trend 5 – More Travel Backpacks as Luggage

With the rise of airlines nickel and diming passengers at any chance they can and the change in the types of trips people are taking, savvy passengers will continue to reduce the amount they take with them on their travels. We’ve been avid carry-on only travelers for years and prefer to travel with our 46L Backpack.  More people are starting to shift to this which is evident by the rise of lightweight and travel backpack sales.

Now that you’ve read my travel predictions, I’d love to learn more about you so please take a few minutes to fill out this survey. It should take less than 10 minutes to complete, and will help me to create better content for you and future readers!

What do you think will happen in 2018 travel? Comment below and let us know, we’d love to hear what you think!

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Daina - Founder of

Daina - Founder of

Writer, Photographer

Daina is the sunset and ocean obsessed photographer and writer behind underwater and adventure photography blog, Headed Anywhere, featuring photography tips and hacks to simplify your busy life.

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