Being a tourist is so 2017 – be a traveler instead


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A NEW study predicts that 2018 will be the year for adventuring and exploring, not holidaying and sightseeing – the year for the traveler, rather than the tourist.

The Luxe report conducted by global luxury travel network Virtuoso, revealed that in 2018 vacationers will seek to discover hidden places, which are off the beaten track and nowhere to be found on the itineraries of many tour operators.

The new findings could mean saying goodbye to archaic coach trips, and hello to herding sheep or open-water swimming with dolphins.

The major factor for this predicted traveling trend is backed by the desire to see unspoiled natural beauty, in destinations yet to be exploited by tour operators.

The report unearthed key trends which are sure to cultivate the existing travel industry in 2018 and revolutionize what is perceived as the generic vacation destinations.

Some of the hot topics suggested in the report are that cold is very much the new hot, and being a tourist is so 2017.

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While the golden beaches of Bali are still very much desirable, travelers are also turning to cooler climates to fulfill their vacation desires.

Iceland has seen huge growth on the popularity front. Known for its geysers, natural hot springs and electrifying New Year’s Eve firework celebrations.

Alaska and Antarctic are also shining through as once-in-a-lifetime trips, with some tour operators even offering the opportunity to get married on the expansive ice plains.

Being a traveler is certainly looking trendier in 2018 than being identified as a tourist. Of course, you will still want to snap beautiful landscapes, and you may still have to ask for directions. But the urgency to become an ethical traveler, submerged in the culture that surrounds you, is now more important and equally as trendy as simply being a foreign observer.

Meeting with locals, trying new dishes, learning traditional crafts and generally interacting with others, regardless of language barriers, is the best was to travel, according to Virtuoso.

SEE ALSO: The rise of adventure tourism (and where to immerse in it)

The study found that globally, Italy, Iceland, South Africa, France, Australia and New Zealand are the top destinations; however, Japan, Cuba and Portugal make it into the top five emerging destinations.

“My main goal for the trip was to see the wild parts of Japan. I knew it was an incredibly mountainous landscape, as it is very volcanic, and the views were spectacular. I wanted to climb Mount Fuji, and did so,” Dan Fisher, a semi-professional triathlete and London-based undergraduate student, told Travel Wire Asia after his recent trip to Japan.

Dan Fisher on the ascent of Mount Fuji in Japan. Source: Dan Fisher

“I most enjoyed meeting the people who ran the hostels and Airbnbs we stayed in. Most of them had a clear passion for the country and enjoyed showing others the beauty of what was on offer. They took great pleasure in helping and advising on what to do, and making sure you were happy and had a good experience.”

Whether you are embarking on a honeymoon, business trip, family vacation or weekend getaway, bear in mind that going off the beaten track, interacting with locals and trying something just a little bit unusual are all traveling trends certain to create life-long treasured memories.