By Cristina Costea
Whenever you feel the urge to do some adventure travel or you simply sit down to decide where to take that much needed vacation, you are inevitably influenced by the travel trends. Take Greece for example: It has been one of the hottest tourist destinations for decades, but now, with so much happening in Greece, the country has fallen on hard times. As a result, many tourists are starting to avoid it, which affects the country’s tourism industry – more bad news for Greece.
Travel trends are changing every single year and 2015 was the year when international affairs heavily influenced travel trends. Though we can’t be certain of what the New Year will bring, we do have a pretty good idea about what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to travel destinations in 2016. So, what are the upcoming travel trends? Where should you go and what should you steer clear of in 2016? What trends are hot and what trends are not? Read on and find out!
Wellness-oriented vacations are all the rage right now and they don’t give any signs of slowing down. Mindfulness and empathy are two things that are so much more than just a trend, and this is starting to show up in all the areas of people’s lives, from traveling to cooking. It may sound like a big cliché, but here it goes: You deserve the best, you are worth it, so do yourself a huge favor and go on a wellness-oriented vacation in 2016. For your body, your mind and your soul.
Various statistics revealed that solo traveling is becoming more and more popular and 2016 may just be the year of solo traveling. Sure, traveling with friends and family is great, but if you really want to discover new things about yourself, meet new people and even make new friends, immerse yourself in a culture and a destination, then traveling alone is the perfect way to do it! Do the research, choose a destination, buy the ticket and experience a new feeling of freedom, traveling solo. Alone, but never lonely!
Being kind is innately human and volunteering is the best way to do some good in the world, to show yourself and others that you care. What’s great about volunteering, aside from helping people, is the fact that it costs next to nothing and that it will be a defining moment in your life. An experience that will teach you things that you simply cannot learn at school. If you’ve never volunteered, we highly suggest you do. Choose a cause that is close to your heart and go for it. Be it Africa or Europe, the world is your volunteering oyster!
Wine travel will forever be a popular category of travelsimply because people will always love wine! Italy and France are Europe’s top wine destinations and a seasoned wine traveler will always put them at the top of their destination list. So, if you want to taste some of the best wines in the world in 2016, we highly recommend a wine tour of Tuscany.
Where to Go?
The 2016 Olympics are happening in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which means that this year Brazil will become the hottest destination in the world. Even if you’re not a sports fan, you might be tempted to visit Brazil for the wonderful opening ceremony. If you do plan to go to Brazil for the summer, Olympic organizers recommend that you slather yourself in mosquito repellent, for your own safety, as the Zika virus outbreak is nothing to joke about.
Croatia is by no means a new destination, but ever since the country joined EU in 2013, it has become increasingly popular. The Croatian National Tourist Board has come up with the motto “the Mediterranean as it once was” to attract visitors and it seems to be working. More and more people are drawn to this European gem and you should definitely give it a shot in 2016. The city of Dubrovnik pictured below is particularly spectacular and breathtakingly beautiful.
Cruises will never go out of fashion, but this year, they’re really gaining some new momentum, especially for young travelers. Until recently, cruises were aimed at retired, older travelers, who usually are just looking to relax, but now, cruises are much more adventure-oriented and will engage and entice you. If all you want is to relax in a nice environment, in your own happy bubble, with like-minded folks, then a cruise may be the perfect choice for you. And if you want to do some snorkeling or deep sea diving, a cruise may also be the answer for you.
As a tourist destination, Australia is in a league of its own. Even though the country has been a tourist favorite for decades, it has slowly become a must-see destination for all travel enthusiasts. What’s great about Australia is that it has a little bit of everything for everyone. Love the hustle and bustle of the big city, visit Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane! A nature enthusiast? Then the Great Barrier Reef is waiting for you to discover it!
Thailand will never stop being one of the best travel destinations in the world. According to Wikipedia, tourism in Thailand accounts for around 20% of Thailand’s GDP. This means that the country thrives off tourism, which is also great news for you, as a traveler, as you will always be taken care of there. “Amazing Thailand” is the slogan used by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to promote the country internationally, which cannot be more accurate. But what makes Thailand even more popular in 2016? Just last year, the country ended their martial law; Thailand’s deputy prime minister declared that he expected the number of high-spending tourists from the United States and Europe to increase following the decision. He was right!
Similar to pretty much all the aforementioned destinations, Japan has always been a popular tourist destination. Its appeal cannot be denied and its beauty will impress even the finickiest tourist. But what makes Japan a hot destination in 2016? Well, the fact that the prices in Tokyo have dropped by 18% compared to the previous year! What are you waiting for? Book that plane ticket now!
Where Not to Go?
But what about all the places that aren’t going to be too welcoming to the average traveler this year? If you are worried about your personal safety, and you should be, then let’s take a look at the travel warnings that the U.S. State department issued for 2016. So far, there are four warnings and one alert for the following countries: Sudan, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mexico, El Salvador and an alert for Haiti.
We are as shocked as you to see Mexico on the list! So, what happened there? Apparently, the U.S. Department of State is warning the citizens of the U.S. about the risks of traveling to Mexico due to threats to security and safety posed by the many organized criminal groups in the country. Of course, you can ignore the warning and simply go about your business, as these warnings are not interdictions, however many travelers do tend to take into account the U.S. Department of State’s warnings. So, if you do plan to visit Mexico, do a bit of research about the places you’re planning to visit. We’re certain the Riviera Maya and many other places are absolutely stunning and safe!
As for Sudan, the threats are terrorism, armed conflict, violent crime and kidnapping. For Niger, the ongoing activities by the extremist group Boko Haram are posing a significant threat to travelers.
For LGBT folks, the list is even longer. If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual and you want to do a bit of traveling in 2016, then you should definitely avoid these following countries: Nigeria, Jordan, Senegal, Uganda, Ghana, Tunisia and Russia, as they are highly homophobic.
What are your travel plans for 2016?
Cristina is the Community Manager of BookSinglesHolidays, the world’s best online solo travel company. She is also a passionate traveler, cat aficionado and novice writer.
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