Hello 2015! Yes, the year Marty McFly visits in “Back to the Future Part 2,” has finally arrived. Unfortunately, 2015 doesn’t have the flying cars or hoverboards predicted in Back to the Future…yet. So what will travelers experience as they explore the world in 2015? Here are our top travel trend predictions:
Travel Means Technology
In 2015 you’re going to be even more reliant on your smartphones, tablets, and laptops – a statement that should surprise no one. Everyone, from your waiter to your grandmother, is borderline addicted to their smartphones, and the travel industry is embracing this ever-connected epidemic with new advances in technology in 2015.
Both the San Francisco and Amsterdam airports have recently launched location specific alerts that may be sent through a smartphone’s Bluetooth sensor. While waiting to board their next flight, travelers who opt-in to this technology can be alerted with location-based information including how long it will take them to get to their gate, or where to find the best deals on currency exchange in the airport. The technology is sure to expand to other airports in 2015, and undoubtedly increase dependence on your mobile device. I have to admit, this particular brand of high technology sounds a bit big-brother-robot-esque to me. But if this app happens to warn you before standing behind the person that holds up the entire security line over a bottle of water then I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
All kidding aside, at ACIS, we encourage students to put down their smartphones from time to time. It’s vital to be present while experiencing the awe of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, the first sample of authentic Japanese sushi, or zip lining through a Costa Rican jungle. It’s in these moments that travel changes lives! However, we also know that not every second of travel is awe-inducing, and can often be confusing. In these less than glamorous moments, having access to technology vastly improves the travel experience. Planning a trip soon? It’s likely you found a few restaurant options through TripAdvisor, or have already google-mapped your running route along the Seine. It is clear that technology like this only bolsters the experience of seeing a completely different part of the world. In 2015, ACIS is also harnessing the power of technology and travel for the benefit of our student and teacher travelers – but more on that in another exciting blog post!
Positively Impact Your Vacation Location
We’ve all heard of those all-inclusive resorts where vacationers enjoy their time in a foreign country at a lavish resort – and never actually leave the resort. While this will always be a preference for some travelers, the trend for 2015 is showing a renewed focus on the positive impact tourists can have on a location they’re visiting. Such organizations like Pack for a Purpose even encourage visitors to bring certain donation items with them on their trip that will bring important resources to the community they’re visiting.
As the trend to travel more conscientiously continues, ACIS is enhancing its service learning initiatives as well. When participating in an ACIS service learning trip, students will actively contribute to the societies they’re visiting in a meaningful way. Interested in giving back while gaining stamps in your passport? Learn more about our service learning offerings here.
This Years’ Up-and-Comers
Globally, the travel and tourism industries are predicted to continue to grow in 2015, and that includes an increase in travel to developing nations. We love visting the world’s most iconic sites, but also believe in taking the road less traveled, and these new comers offer a “not yet overrun with tourists” appeal. Some of the up-and-coming locations expected to see a 2015 surge in travel:
- Peru. Often Peru evokes images of Machu Picchu, but did you know that Peru has been named a top culinary destination by the World Travel Awards?! If the breathtaking landscapes don’t persuade you to visit in 2015, the delicious food and incredible culture will!
- Cuba. It’s global news that the U.S. is restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba – so what does that mean for American travel addicts? A whole new place to explore in 2015! Don’t jump for joy just yet: travel is still somewhat restricted, with rules like that most US travelers visiting Cuba must focus on educational and cultural experiences. Hmm, do you know any organizations that specialize in educational travel?
- Croatia. We’re calling it now: 2015 will be a year where Croatia begins to rise from the shadows of its famous neighbors, Greece and Italy. The Mediterranean country may be less traversed by tourists, but it is equally as beautiful and historic as the more well-known surrounding countries. Plus, hey: who can resist gorgeous turquoise waters!
Besides technology, charitable travel, up-and-coming locations, and (fingers crossed) flying cars, what other trends do you predict for 2015? Tell us in the comments!