The 5 Trends In Travel To Watch in 2016
In 2016, travel will become increasingly global, unexpectedly affordable, predictably digital, and totally seamless.
We’ll see a continued focus on travel as a three-dimensional, integrated experience, and not just a journey from point A to point B.
The 2016 traveller will book every aspect of their trip through a single vendor, stay connected at every stage of their journey, and blur the lines between business travel and tourism.
Over the course of the next year, flights will get cheaper, technology will become even more prominent, and pricey international travel will become accessible to a whole new budget travel demographic.
Here’s what you can expect to see (and what to watch out for!) in 2016:
1. The death of business trips
Gone are the days of the “strictly business” traveller and the typical traveller on holiday. In 2016, everyone will work a little bit, play a little bit, and experience travel through the interchanging lenses of the businessperson, the sight-seer, and the digital nomad.
More and more business travellers will pad their trips with personal time, bring their families on the road, and transform meetings into sightseeing opportunities.
At the same time, more and more recreational travellers will take their work with them, running online businesses and working remotely while on holiday.
In 2016, the term “business trip” will be replaced by “working holiday” as a way to describe the integrated experience more travellers are having as they work and play on the road.
Additional reading: Business, Pleasure or Both?
2. Stacked airplane seating
Stuck in the window seat and need to use the lavatory?
No sweat. In 2016, you might have more leg room to wriggle past your seatmates, but take care to duck your head as you do; there may be someone sitting directly above you.
That’s because aircraft manufacturer Airbus filed a patent this year to make traditional airplane seating more like a double decker bus, with an extra row of seats floating above the middle row passengers – think Southeast Asian “sleeper bus” without the bumpy roads or rude driver.
The best part about stacked airport seating is what it lacks in head room, it more than makes up for in leg room! Both first and second-story seats will be able to lie flat with this new setup, completely changing the comfort level for economy passengers.
More passengers on each flight could also drive ticket prices down as airlines scramble to fill all those seats.
Most travel experts doubt Airbus will follow through on the patent, but I’m holding out for a second story nonstop to Prague – what’s not to love about flat-lying seats and cheaper fares for everyone on board?
3. International flights for $15
How’d you like to fly from New York to London for $15?
No, you’re not hallucinating.
European airline Ryanair is gearing up to launch an ultra-budget flight option between Europe and the U.S. in the next few years (I’ve included it as a 2016 travel trend in the hopes that my besties at Ryanair will bump up production and make these tickets available as soon as humanly possible….puh-leeeeeease??).
But of course there’s a catch. The airline tickets will be as low as $15, but you’ll still have to pay taxes ($200+), baggage fees, seat reservations, food….
But still. $300 to $400 roundtrip is over 50% cheaper than the current going rate between New York and London ($900+++).
4. Zero unplug-abiltiy
No Wifi (on the flight, in the terminal, in the hotel shuttle) is so 2015.
In the new year, travellers will be able to stay connected from the second they arrive at the airport to the moment they return home.
Extra reading: Why not check out the airlines with the best in flight wi fi.
More and more travel companies, including hotels, transportation companies, and airlines are finally seeing the incredible marketing value of constant connectivity.
When travellers can easily access their online reservations, they have a less stressful travel experience, which builds brand loyalty. When they can stay connected on social media, they’re much more likely to share their travel activities, thus inadvertently promoting their destination to their friends and family.
In other words, free advertising for travel companies means free WiFi for you!
5. Seamless booking
Gone are the days of booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and sightseeing activities on four separate websites.
In 2016 the booking experience will become even more seamless, allowing you to compare prices, book flights, review hotels, and find tourist destinations from within a single application.
What travel trend are you most looking forward to in 2016?
Rebekah Voss is an author, freelance travel writer, and the creator of TheHappyPassport.com, an inspiration site for solo female travellers.