Back in December, I put my stake in the ground in support of the five travel trends I thought would rise to the top in 2018. Mid-year is here, and it’s time to see how well I’ve fared. Rather than give myself a full midterm report card, let’s dive into just one of these five trends: luxury travel.

The Prediction: My prediction was that whether simply upgrading to first class seats or splurging on the deluxe hotel package for a better view or more personalized experience, we would see more travelers looking to make their trip more comfortable. I expected the culprit to be either a) America’s PTO plague aka fewer vacations and therefore bigger budgets or b) lavish expectations set by digital influencers.

The Grade: B+. (I wanted to say A+++, but this is a bit more honest.)

Why? Luxury travel is certainly more prevalent than it’s been in previous years, but it’s still very niche and, frankly, often limited to those with a ~certain level~ of disposable income.

Luxury travel is certainly more prevalent than it’s been in previous years, but it’s still very niche and, frankly, often limited to those with a ~certain level~ of disposable income.Click To Tweet

Here’s what’s hot in luxury travel right now:

Authentic Experiences. For example, CastaDiva Resort & SPA is encouraging guests to book a private Boat Tour of Lake Como; an exclusive cooking class with the resort’s Executive Chef; or a personal shopper to explore the best of Italy’s high-fashion brands in Milan.

Digital Detox Tours. If this sounds less than luxurious, consider the all-inclusive food, beverage and lodging packages, plus swag bags and some of the best darn views Mother Nature can offer.

Croatia. Adventure, food & wine, cruises, beach resorts (hello, coastline that stretches more than 3,000 miles, plus more than 1,000 islands). Oh, and Game of Thrones.

Solo Luxury Travel. Travelers are feeling more empowered to splurge on the luxury experience they seek, whether or not it aligns with their preferred travel buddy’s schedule or interests.

A B+ isn’t so shabby, now, is it? Check back in to see how I scored on my remaining 2018 travel trend predictions.

Interested in learning how Padilla can help your destination appeal to luxury travelers? Send me an email.

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