5 Travel Trends for Your 2019 Beach Vacation

5 Travel Trends for Your 2019 Beach Vacation

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Travel is changing at a quick pace around the world, mostly because of advances in transportation, artificial intelligence and increasing globalization. 2018 saw a rise in travel trends influenced by social media bloggers, wellness activities and sustainability offered by cruises, resorts and hotels, but 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for travel, as travelers are becoming more conscious of the destinations they visit and increasingly interested in more remote locations.

Let’s take a look at some of the trends predicted for 2019, so you can incorporate them into your next beach vacation.



1

Micro-Trips

Courtesy of Ben Senior | Flickr.com

Booking.com reports that over half of global travelers plan for more family weekend trips next year. Working parents who have two jobs and can’t always afford to take that much-needed vacation will appreciate this trend.

Make the Most of Your Vacation Time

If you’re pressed on vacation time and you don’t want to spend half of your weekend getaway traveling on a plane or boat, pick a close destination. Bermuda is closest to the U.S. mainland, followed by The Bahamas in the southeastern U.S. and Cancún in the southwestern U.S. Cancún and Puerto Rico offer affordable nonstop flights to shorten your travel time with proximity to the airport—San Juan, Puerto Rico, has resorts just minutes away from the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, so you don’t have to give up precious hours driving to far-off hotels.

Affordable Transportation

Micro-trips also mean you don’t have to break the bank, and airline companies know this. Low-cost carriers are becoming increasingly commonplace, like U.S.-owned Spirit Airlines or JetBlue. JetBlue operates in many major and secondary U.S. cities and offers inter-island service between U.S. territory-islands like St. Croix, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. Spirit and Sun Country Airlines fly out of secondary airports like Orlando or Detroit, and offer cheap trips to St. Maarten, Santo Domingo and St. Thomas.



2

Conscious Travel

Courtesy of Ursula Dubrich | Flickr

With so many human and animal rights issues happening in 2018, 2019 will most likely be a year in which travelers choose travel companies that provide ethical experiences. Traveling socially aware means to be aware of the culture, customs, ecosystems and issues faced in the destinations you’re visiting.

Millennials are reportedly the most socially-conscious travelers. According to OnePoll, 86 percent of adults aged 18-29 consider it important that booking companies offer sustainable options. Ninety percent of adults aged 18-29 consider ethical travel important when booking with a company, and around 86 percent would spend more on their travel if it meant the experiences are completely ethical.

Give Back on Vacation

For your 2019 trip, consider learning something crucial for the country you’re visiting. If you visit Nevis, for example, it is strongly advised not to interfere with hatching turtles, as the island is a busy nesting ground and all turtle species are highly endangered. Or, the Caribbean’s coral reefs are endangered by a large number of factors, including climate change, diseases and overfishing. Giving back to the community while visiting the island countries will help preserve these precious ecosystems. Check out some of the new socially-conscious travel companies like Operation Groundswell—they offer trips that allow people to volunteer in local communities.

Inclusive Travel Options

Safety is also of great importance to travelers of all ages, genders, ethnicities and sexual orientations, and support systems are further on the rise. Online platforms like Destination Pride offer travelers a LGBT+ ranking of their chosen destination and many organizations plan on offering better support for women traveling solo. One such organization is Women Traveling Together, which offers safe, high-quality group vacations for women otherwise traveling by themselves.



3

Tech-Savvy Travel

Courtesy of Christy Gallois | Flickr

Artificial intelligence may be one of your most knowledgeable companions on your 2019 travels. As a whole, phone apps provide easier access to almost anything and everything in the world, so this trend will only increase and evolve. Booking.com reports that about a third of global travelers support the idea of a “virtual travel agent” in their home, which includes technology that shows you a destination in augmented reality before planning an actual trip there.

With more and more internet access across the globe, knowing which apps to use is important. Travel apps provide safety and information and allow people to travel smart while also visiting lesser-known places they might not have thought of. Caribbean Airlines has a new feature that utilizes WhatsApp for its customers, making for easy check-ins, bookings and travel. Individual apps are catching on with airlines and cruise ships, so expect more of those in 2019.



4

Eco-Friendly Travel

Courtesy of Recyclebank | Flickr.com

Environmental awareness was a hot topic in 2018 with travelers increasingly opting for travel by boat, train or car instead of by plane; but if you can’t nix the flight, even decisions as small as reusing a hotel towel help with sustainability. Travelers are more interested in seeing nature “as it used to be” rather than big, exciting cities. Islands like laid-back St. Kitts and Nevis, remote Montserrat or the beach-free, charming island of Saba are less crowded and less polluted but offer untouched nature and experiences with Old Caribbean charm.

Research Eco-Conscious Options Before You Book

Book a room in LEED-certified hotel to help conserve energy—there are currently 400 hotels world-wide that are certified, with many more expected to receive certifications in 2019. The Caribbean is quickly catching up to this: Aruba’s Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort was the first Caribbean hotel certified as carbon-neutral in August 2018.

Even cruise lines are shaping up for better sustainability while offering new extravagant facilities, from rooftop gardens to two-story hot tubs. Royal Caribbean is releasing several new eco-conscious ships next year and the new Celebrity Edge cruise liner by Celebrity Cruises is energy-saving and features new suites with plunge pools, 29 restaurants and bars, a nature-inspired spa and Peloton bikes to use at sea.



5

Travel for Experience

Courtesy of Mohannad aldrwrery | Flickr.com

Two-thirds of global travelers that use Booking.com report that experiences are more important than material possessions, which is a large shift from previous years. This year has seen many travelers opting to experience the remote unknown rather than a familiar city scene. This may be due to a growing number of online influencers who blog unusual experiences, like jumping down a waterfall into a cave or paragliding down a mountain. Similarly, travel for food and wine experiences is trending thanks in part to the plethora of exotic food and wine posts on social platforms.

Disconnect for Real Connection

Surprisingly though, 2019 is actually projected to see less private vacation photos on Instagram and Facebook and more people opting to experience their vacation without social media. People are realizing that spending vacation with your eyes glued to a screen isn’t a vacation at all.

Outdoor Experiences Are on the Rise

Travelers seeking out good experiences rather than shopping or living large at an expensive resort also tend to opt for healthier choices like experiencing a destination off the beaten path through outdoor activities like hiking or biking. The Caribbean offers great outdoor activities for the outdoorsy type and health-conscious traveler—consider the excellently-rated Blue Mountain Downhill biking tour in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, or dive with humpback whales in the Dominican Republic. For those who love to hike and learn first-hand about history, visit Puerto Rico’s San Juan National Historic Site and walk through historic sites like the Castillo San Cristóbal. If you want to see how food and drink are made up close, check out the local communities on St. Kitts and Nevis. On Nevis, even medicine is still made from scratch.

In the islands, there’s something for everyone.






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