Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Forecasts Top Travel Trends & Vacation Hot Spots for 2015

BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwired) -- With barely six weeks left until we ring in the New Year, the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, offer their predictions on what lies ahead in 2015's travel sphere. Cheapflights.com's Top Travel Trends and Hot Destinations for 2015 offers our annual look ahead with five key trends and seven international hot spots that are predicted to top Americans' travel agendas next year.

"2015 is going to be an eventful travel year for Americans," said Cheapflights.com editor and travel expert Melisse Hinkle. "We see people traveling farther, trying new places and tying in more of their interests -- everything from food to fitness. It may take some work (and some deep breaths) to see the world in this age of crammed seating, increased security and added fees, but ingenuity and patience will help, and travel will continue to be not only a priority but a passion for millions of Americans."

Below are highlights of some of the trends and places on Cheapflights.com's radar for 2015:

  • HEALTH AND WELLNESS MOVE UP THE TRAVEL AGENDA - In the era of Fitbits and Crossfit, healthy living is on the upswing. So too is healthy vacationing. More and more travelers are baking "wellness" into their getaways, going out of their way to nurture mind and body on their vacations. While high-end resorts are rolling out high-priced programs such as the newly launched Energy by Four Seasons, bargain hunters will seek out conventional and alternative therapies farther afield. Mexico and Costa Rica are rising stars for stress-busting yoga and wellness getaways as well as places to get in touch with your inner athlete (surf camp anyone?). Further afield, Asian countries such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Korea all have well-developed -- and reasonably priced -- retreats that offer a variety of massages and spa treatments ranging from fish pedicures to python massages to butt facials and fat-transfer treatments that will give you a bum like Kim Kardashian. She may be doing her best to "break the Internet," but at least you won't be breaking the budget when it comes to looking after your body abroad.
  • AIRTIQUETTE - With power-up rules at some airports, omnipresent mobile tech, the potential for hacked boarding passes, seat defenders wielded by assertive passengers, the predominance of the in-flight selfie (taken with the near-ubiquitous selfie stick) and carry-on meals that often pack an odor punch all creating flash points for passenger conflict, we are expecting "Airtiquette" to be a major issue in 2015. Airlines will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to air rage. Flight crews will be on the lookout for trouble and ready to bring in official help when they need it. However, to get ahead of issues, the airlines will get proactive, adapting the seats on their planes, creating alternate seating layouts, adding dual-level armrests and "smart" pockets to stow devices and charging "stations."
  • CELEBRATING FOOD - Food has always been part of both travel and celebrations but, increasingly, travel has become a way to celebrate cuisine. 2015 is a landmark year in this regard as the idea of a formal restaurant turns 250. The birth place of dining was (where else?) Paris. The year was 1765. The restaurateur was Monsieur Boulanger. And the house specialty was soup. Fast forward to today and celebrity chefs, online reservations and reviews and a more mainstream "foodie" mentality have turned dining into entertainment at home and on vacation. Cooking (and even extreme eating) shows spotlight the cuisine of cities and cultures around the world, making everything from destination cooking classes to celebrity chef tours (on land and on cruise ships) and a renewed emphasis from airlines on food and beverage ready to be front and center in 2015.

With a strong U.S. dollar and more international airlines servicing Americans, Cheapflights.com is bullish on international travel in the coming year as well. Below are three destinations that are predicted to gain in popularity in 2015:

  • BALI, INDONESIA - Americans are starting to catch on to Asia and Australia's budget destination of choice. Bali is a postcard-perfect Pacific island undergoing a boom of growth in new hotels and resorts at price points to meet every budget. From serene beaches and iconic temples to an array of spas and a sizzling club scene, Bali has pretty close to everything under the sun. Its appeal is such that, rumor has it, "The Bachelor" will be taking some dates there in the upcoming season. Flights from the U.S. are becoming more frequent and affordable, but the eye-popping deals are from the host of bargain airlines out of Australia promising flights for well under $100.
  • ICELAND - It's hard to be sure whether Walter Mitty, Wow Air or volcanos have done the most to put Iceland on travelers' to-do lists. All we can say is that we expect it to be a red hot (maybe even molten hot?) travel spot for 2015. Iceland moved into a leading travel role when Ben Stiller hurled himself downhill on a skateboard past a sweeping mountainscape in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." This was a rare case of Iceland starring as itself rather than a fictitious land, awakening millions of viewers to its rugged beauty. Insiders say, however, that tourism started its recent upswing in the wake of the 2010 eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which made global headlines for causing the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights thanks to its ash clouds. While that volcano captured worldwide attention, the spewing of another volcano, Bardarbunga, this past August sparked a different flight trend -- eruption sightseeing flights. Online videos of the Holuhraun Lava Field once again put Iceland center stage, showing it as a place like no other.
  • CANADA - 2015 looks to be the summer of sports in Canada. The FIFA Women's World Cup will play out across six host cities throughout June with the finals in Vancouver on July 5. Then Toronto steps into the host role for the Pan American Games in July and the Parapan American Games in August. Summer time in Canada sees a rush to embrace the outside with a packed agenda of festivals, fishing, hiking, golf and lakefront fun. While sports fans may lead the charge to head north of the border, we expect an overall surge as word spreads about all the action, on the playing fields and beyond.

To read more about these trends and destinations and see what else rounds out our list of predictions for 2015, visit www.cheapflights.com/news/top-travel-trends-and-hot-destinations-2015.

About Cheapflights.com part of the Momondo Group
Momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 17.5 million visitors a month -- plus 7 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) and momondo (www.momondo.com) brands.

Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.

The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen and Boston with a consumer base across more than 30 core international markets but users all over the world.

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