If travelling more is your New Year’s resolution; if wanting to try new experiences is something you constantly crave; and if upping your Instagram game with the most photogenic scenes in the world is part of your #goals this season, then this list is for you. We’ve perused both statistic-based reports—thanks Lightfoot Travel and Small Luxury Hotels of the World—and wanderlust-led compilations to bring you the definitive travel trends 2018 list to guide you on your journeys this year.
A complete digital detox might be too much for some of us, however, the desire to take a ‘holiday’ from modern technology and nostalgia for times when life seemed simpler has led to a resurgence of literature in small hotels. Providing a taste of the timeless, hotels are paying homage to esteemed writers or classic novels, as well as offering libraries, reading rooms and library butlers. The Betsy South Beach in Miami celebrates its Pulitzer connection with bedtime poems and a Writers Room where guests can interact with local creatives. Le Pavillon des Lettres in Paris offers Literary room service and Kristiania Lech in Austria a Book Butler who creates a bespoke reading list to reflect the guest’s tastes. Rockliffe Hall in the UK will be opening a Lewis Carroll inspired parkland in 2018 as a nod to his love for the area, and the Owl and the Pussycat Hotel in Sri Lanka crosses the divide by using Instagram to recreate the non-sensical world of Edward Lear.
Festi-Cruises are music festivals aboard ocean liners, and boy are they hardcore. Expect game rooms, endless buffets and bottomless booze, and the party to last from sunrise to sunset, and vice versa, as you sail across vast open waters under star-filled skies. Many of these cruises also take voyagers to exotic locations and give you rave experiences of a lifetime, what with superstar performers travelling with you, and the opportunity to spend a wild time with friends old and new.
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It is no longer enough to offer a pillow menu and a comfy bed to guarantee a good night’s sleep – some brands are now introducing pioneering bed linens that prevent sweating and eliminate bacteria, including DasPosthotel in Austria. In 2018 hotels will also be competing to guarantee the optimum night’s sleep in more traditional, yet original, ways. 137 Pillars Suites Bangkok and 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai offers Sleep by Design therapy and a Sleepdown service conducted by a dedicated Sleep Curator. Sometimes, however, it’s worth having an interrupted night, as demonstrated by the Hotel Ranga in Iceland’s Northern Lights wake up call.
Do you also want that “woke up like this” shot in a designer bedroom of your dreams? How about still life-like imagery of your beauty products on luxurious marble counters with gold fixtures, or that perfect sun-bathed “good morning” post from your breezy balcony? Three words: Book a staycation. That’s what everyone—i.e. the fab Instagram girls—are doing. It’s the ultimate trick to creating photogenic content without stepping out of the country. Plus, some of them come at a real steal if you book way in advance, or at the very last minute. Some of the local spots we’re loving are M Social for duplex loft rooms designed by Philippe Starck; Lloyd’s Inn for minimalist bungalow vibes surrounded by lush greenery; the riverside, industrial chic Warehouse Hotel; and St. Regis Singapore for the ultimate suite experience. Of course, Airbnb is always ideal too.
Private Jet Expeditions
When Crystal Air Cruises, the world’s largest private jet in the form of a Boeing 777 launched last August, levels of travel luxe hit an all-time high. With enough space for 86 passengers, incredible amenities and plush leather upholstery, passengers are pampered by 10 Crystal Butlers and served by an onboard executive chef. Next year in 2018, this extends further to private charter, and blazing a trail for a growing interest in similar hires. Travel Designers at Lightfoot Travel will tailor make the best expeditions for all guests looking for an intimate and exclusive travel experience.
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The wellness industry has always been entwined with spirituality, and in 2018 the focus will be on those spiritual experiences that enable guests to seek out one-of-a-kind moments to focus their independent minds. From visiting rejuvenating ancient Power Spots at the Sankara Hotel & Spa Yakushima in Japan, to night-time spa treatments under the stars, floating on water or being lapped by the waves, at Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali, the bespoke nature of these immersive experiences goes far deeper than a deep tissue massage.
2018 will at last see sustainability go from a theoretical to a legitimate practice, with luxury
properties and operators adopting new ways to save the planet. Up until now, several
vineyards in Japan and Chile are using animals (as opposed to traditional machines) to pick
their grapes and fertilise the ground. Baines Camp in Botswana was built using a frame of
elephant dung and recycled cans, Kulala Desert Lodge uses E-powered bikes to explore the
Kulala concession, and perhaps most famous of all is Kenya’s banning of plastic bags,
accompanied by strict punishments for those who break the rules
Photographs and videos have become a crucial part of travelling. Lightfoot Travel understands the importance of how a personalised photoshoot provides guests with an exclusive experience and guaranteed photographic moments for memories and to capture for social media. Next year, there will be a significant increase in travellers signing up to holidays where a photographer, shoot, and props can all be arranged in advance. Guests can pose poolside safe in the knowledge that the lighting is right, and snatch some camera-free time to enjoy their holiday out of the limelight.
Cabineering & Camperneering
While traditionally the accommodation choice for adventurous types in lumberjack shirts, cosying up in a cabin will be a popular choice for 2018. Cabineering today provides guests with the comforts of home and special touches of a luxury hotel in some of the most remote and special destinations around the globe. Adding to the quest for more unusual accommodation experiences, Lightfoot Travel guests can heighten the trip with Camperneering – luxurious camper vans cruising the likes of the roads of the US or Bolivia.
Glamping at an exclusive pop-up site is set to reach the next level and provide fresh opportunities. Several companies are setting up super-tents for a few months only throughout 2018; others are offering guests the chance to choose their exact location, length of stay and interior. At Lightfoot Travel, all itineraries are tailor made for their guests, not only deciding where to travel but also giving them the option of camping in luxurious style and to bring travel experiences to a whole new level.
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Capitalising on the trend for authentic and immersive travel, staying at family-owned properties is slated to become an even bigger draw in the upcoming year. Whether it’s spending a few nights with a family in a traditional Kyoto ryokan in Japan, assisting on a farm in South America, or living like a local within a Vietnamese community, there’s no better way to gain insights, education, and a unique understanding of a new culture.