A snapshot of the top experiences, travel styles and destinations to look forward to in 2012
“Ends of the Earth” Journeys – Intrepid travelers have always had a yen for far-flung sojourns, but are now looking beyond the more obvious alluring destinations like Thailand and South Africa for their exotic escapades. Quirkier, off-the-beaten-path destinations provide a more thorough and intimate look at remote corners of the world – not to mention afford the traveler a more unique story upon return.
Mind, Body & Soul Vacations – Travel insiders see a rise in holistic vacations, attributing the trend to travelers’ shifting perceptions of personal growth. Even popular tourist destinations such as Bali have much to offer in the way of serenity due to the Indonesian island’s notable emphasis on proper nutrition and health; more than endorsing a diet, the Indonesians are extremely supportive of cultivating an entire lifestyle, one that links the heart to the senses.
“Your Money Matters” Travel – It is a common (and unfortunate) world view that travel is overindulgent and wasteful, but with regards to the conservation of wildlife and preservation of historic sites around the world, travelers’ dollars truly go a long way – and we’re not even referring to great value, although there is that, too.
Ancestral Travel – American audiences received a glimpse of this emerging trend with the hit NBC television show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” which profiled celebrities as they ventured to the root of their family tree, with often surprising conclusions (Gwyneth Paltrow is part Barbadian, for one). This form of travel – extremely popular amongst families – is more common than many realize, with many American-born individuals traveling to countries such as Russia, the Baltics, China, and Japan to explore their legacy. Other popular root-travel destinations include Lebanon and West Africa, two regions that are substantially influential in American culture.
Second-Chance Cities – For frequent travelers, particularly of the business variety, there are always the cities they think they know but, upon a closer look, discover there is always so much more to explore.
Off-Season Travel – When weighing the pros and cons of purchasing that $500 roundtrip ticket to Europe in January, travelers should always consider the benefits of journeying somewhere when no one else would think to go. When exploring every nook and cranny of a destination is your goal, it is great to keep far from the madding crowd.
Supporting Evolving & Recovering Societies – Visiting countries that are recovering from a national trauma – such as Norway or Japan – which only makes people stronger and more determined, is so appreciated much like those who visited New York after 9/11. Places of note include Colombia, Egypt, Tunisia, Japan, Mozambique, Norway, Croatia and Rwanda.
The BRICS – An acronym for the emerging powerhouses of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the BRICS are a rapidly evolving group. It’s a wonderful time to venture to the BRICS countries now as these cultures are rapidly changing due to the speed of globalization and economic growth. Each of these countries has their own special rhythm, from the contemporary design culture in São Paulo to the dynamic art scene in Shanghai.
Travel with an Expert – For those seeking a more insightful – and at the same time, highly individualized – experience, travelers should consider small group travel with a best-in-industry expert wherein guests can traipse through destinations with the highest caliber of detail, intimacy and comfort.