If you’re an avid traveler, then travel as you know it is about to change. Travel in 2018 is forecasted to see a 3.5 percentage price increase. This is fueled, in part, by the huge demand for affinity travel, especially women’s groups. Traveling solo, is also on the rise as it is being recognized as a viable means of seeing the world. In fact, it has pushed the boundaries for experiential traveling – a calling to explore the road less traveled.
Experiential Travel and Affinity Groups
Affinity travel accounts for a growing slice of the travel pie. This group travel brings together travelers who share hobbies, lifestyle, or interests. Today, these affinity groups are rapidly taking over social media. Bucket lists are becoming the norm, as traveling is now the new “hot” thing to do. Coupled with an interest in experiential travel that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the culture and get to know the history and people in their destinations, it has greatly increased the demand for travel and this will be reflected in rising rates.
Group travel has increased tourism in Cuba, Dubai, Morocco and even Africa. Paris, Egypt and Asia have also seen an influx, especially among urban travelers. These groups offer members the opportunity to meet new people, while becoming a part of unique communities of like-minded individuals. They appeal to the culture of the nomad.
How Exactly Does It Effect Traveling As We Know It?
The huge increase in group traveling have contributed to the demand and desire for all things chic in travel. And this highly coveted trend might be impacted by the price increase. Leisure is going to get even more expensive, starting in 2018. Accommodations are expected to climb up to 3.7 percent. This could put a huge damper in travel plans for 2018.
For one, we might see a resurrection of the travel agent. Why? Well, these agents are the insiders and experts who can maneuver through the various vendors in the industry, to secure rates that aren’t published on online booking sites. They offer an invaluable service that can prove to be very time consuming and tedious, especially if you don’t have any idea what to do, outside of putting in dates, location and how many travelers, inside a search box.
What’s Behind the Sudden Surge in Prices?
Experts believe it has to do with the demand for experiencing the lovelier things of travel, at affordable, sometimes unbeatable rates. Here’s the good news! The overall increase in prices will vary and depend on the exact location you are traveling to and where you are traveling from. If you’re traveling to Asia, specifically India or China, you can expect to pay a lot more due to the domestic demand (those amazing girl groups!) for these bucket list locations, which has drastically increased over the past few years.
Where Can You Expect to See The Highest Impact?
Expect a greater increase in hospitality and lodging in general. Pay close attention to the region of Eastern Europe, which is expected to debut at a whopping 7 percent increase, with Western Europe experiencing an increase of up to 6 percent. The U.S. will see a smaller price surge, coming in at just over 2 percent. This might be due to the Trump travel ban. Hotels and hostels, including Airbnbs in Europe will see up to a 12 percent increase, with the Australia/New Zealand region, forecasted to rise as high as 10 percent.
What Are Our Options?
If you are planning to travel in 2018:
- Book now to lock in the more affordable rates of 2017.
- You can join or put together a group to help offset the cost.
- You can opt to use a travel agent. They are equipped to navigate and take your travel experience to a whole new level. They are experts in the industry, who have the latest news – such as what’s allowed when considering traveling to Cuba, what documents are required for each country and how to best make all the necessary arrangements. All the things that you may not know how to do offhand, or just don’t want to, because it takes a lot of research, strategizing and planning.
- You can also sign up for price alerts, and be sure to stay in the loop of what’s happening in the travel industry, so you can be informed.
Don’t let rising prices scare you off traveling in 2018. Planning ahead can save you hundreds of dollars. From checking internet deals to considering affinity or group travel to working with an experienced travel agent, there are plenty of ways to make your travel plans affordable.