Consumer Travel Trends for 2018

travel trends 2018

Whether travelers are dreaming about getting away, or planning a trip, their experience occurs in micro-moments. These micro-moments happen in various stages, from when they are initially dreaming about a vacation, to the planning process, booking the trip, and finally the anticipation of the trip itself. Travel brands need to plan and create a strategy for engaging with travelers in each of these moments by being helpful and relevant every step of the way.

Brand loyalty is in short supply in the travel industry because consumers are more loyal to their own needs and their desire to get the best deal.  Those planning a trip search multiple websites, apps and price aggregators to get the lowest possible price. To be competitive, marketers need to anticipate each micro-moment and stay on top of what’s happening in the travel industry. Following are some of the most significant trends for 2018 consumer travel.     

Sustainable Tourism

In today’s society, we’re aware of the extreme impact the human race has in the world around us. We recycle, we shop local and buy organic, and we try our best to reduce our carbon footprint.

So how do concerned travelers satisfy the need to explore other parts of the world while concentrating on conservation? The answer is sustainable tourism, which has the added benefit of the “noble edge” effect.

Through sustainable tourism, travelers strive to leave a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy of the regions they visit. They educate themselves on their destinations; support local cultures and economies by buying locally made goods, patronize small businesses, seek out accommodations that are environmentally friendly, and use the least amount of nonrenewable resources possible to leave minimal impact on the natural environment.

Solo Women’s Travel

Responsible for 70% of travel decisions and 92% of travel purchases, women are fueling explosive growth in the travel industry. According to a report by the George Washington University School of Business, nearly two-thirds of travelers today are women. And more than 11% of adult leisure travelers are solo women, says the US Travel Association.

Traveling solo as a woman is often about leaving your comfort zone. Some of these women are seeking their Eat, Pray, Love experience, some are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and others just want a little solitude on a pristine tropical beach or in a mountain cabin.

Solo women’s travel doesn’t belong to any one generation. Millennials are waiting longer to settle down. They have different goals and values than their parents and grandparents had and want to experience the world before committing to a 9-to-5 job, spouse, or children. On the flip side, retired women who’ve spent a lot of time over the years building careers and taking care of families are ready to strike out on their own and live their dreams. 

travel trends 2018


Glamping appeals to those who want what adventure camping has to offer while also preferring to enjoy a bit more luxury in their experience.

Glamping isn’t a new concept. 16th-century royals decked out lavish tents with palatial comforts. In the 1920s, wealthy travelers brought their not-so-little luxuries along on African safaris. Since its more modern inception in the 21st century, glamping has grown in popularity and shows no signs of slowing down.

Glamping offers travelers an array of personalized options, whether it’s in a luxurious yurt in the desert, a tiny house in the California Wine Country, a treehouse in a lush forest, or a tricked-out Airstream at one of our national parks.

Culinary-Based Travel

People are becoming increasingly more interested in where their food comes from and the quality of the ingredients. Enter culinary-based tourism. Vacationers who happen to be foodies are booking worldwide travel geared toward culinary experiences.

Those who are interested in the sources of their food can tour farms and orchards and enjoy a delicious meal whipped up by a personal chef. Foodies who also love to cook might stay in a chateau in France and learn how to cook French classics like Coq Au Vin and Bœuf Bourguignon. Urban foodies can tour China and seek out the most exotic street foods ever.

River Cruising

The sweet spot for river cruising has always been older travelers due to their collective spending power and desire to experience familiar destinations in new ways. But it is also picking up steam with the Millennial market as well, especially in Europe. A 2017 MMGY Global study noted that some 36% of Millennials indicated their desire to take a river cruise.

One reason is the rise of themed river cruises, which tap into the special interests of travelers by offering unique itineraries around such things as history, craft beers, farm-to-table dining, or art. Travelers enjoy a personalized experience by immersing themselves in their passions – meeting vintners and sommeliers, experiencing cooking with international chefs, or conversing with a renowned art historian.

travel trends 2018

Whether providing visual content during the customer’s “I want to get away” micro-moment or supporting their search efforts during their planning, marketers should arm themselves with the tools needed to reach and help customers along their journey. If you’d like to talk about strategies for reaching your travel consumer, give us a call. We’re here to help.