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Top travel trends for 2019

Travel fads come and go, and they’re fun, for a while. Cronut- and freak shake-hunting was, at one point, deemed an essential city trip activity for Instagrammable-snack devotees, while barnyard yoga seemed to make perfect sense for flexible nature lovers – where better to hone your cow pose?

Some trends, however, emerge slowly and have the potential to stick around for the long haul. So what’s on the horizon this year? Here are the trends to watch in 2019 that just might change the way we travel for good.

The Faroe Islands make a great option for off-the-beaten-path adventures © Dmitry Pistrov / Shutterstock

Getting off the touristed path

The ‘don’t be a tourist, be a traveller’ sentiment is jaded. We all have an impact on the places we visit, whether we go it alone or rely on a tour group. Avoiding crowds and nabbing low-season deals is nothing new for experienced globetrotters, but with the rise of ‘overtourism’, steering clear of the masses and choosing your destinations wisely is more important than ever. It can have surprising benefits, too.

Throughout the evolution of travel the term ‘get off the beaten track’ has become synonymous with the idealistic wanderer who desperately craves a new perspective on the already over worn tourist trails. Perhaps they’ve watched movies like Into The Wild and The Beach a few too many times, longing for that special place in the world that hasn’t yet been ruined by tacky bars and cheap knock off sunglasses. Or maybe they want to be the first person to explore an exciting new destination, before hostels and hotels open up the market to the hordes of vacationers and holiday goers.

Take part in the trend for getting off the touristed path.

Transport yourself to other worlds with new technologies © franz12 / Shutterstock

Augmented attractions

Like it or loathe it, virtual reality tech is gathering pace. With ever-improving headsets, apps and 360-degree content, it’s already taking armchair travel to the next level – transporting anyone with a wifi connection to Antarctica, Aruba or even Mars – but what effect will these new technologies have for those who still want to see the world, IRL (in real life)?

VR, AR. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve heard of virtual and augmented reality, technologies that have made the leap from sci-fi to smartphone. And now they’re transforming every stage of the travel experience.

Learn more about the augmented attractions trend.

Learn about the lineage you never knew you had with a DNA test kit © Pikoso.kz / Shutterstock

My DNA and me

We live in the information age. Never before have we had so much knowledge at our fingertips – but besides having a few distant cousins on Facebook, how much do you know about your genealogy? Ancestry exploration has been given a new lease of life with the dawn of do-it-yourself DNA kits. You might be born and bred in your home nation, but your DNA may well reveal where you really come from. Naturally, curious travellers are using unexpected results as an excuse to book a trip.

Find out more about the trend for understanding your ancestry.

The Scottish Highlands are a surprising – and scenic – option for EV road trips © Daniel Kay / Shutterstock

Road trips go electric

The EV (electric vehicle) revolution is just around the corner, with charging stations cropping up in the most unlikely places. Whether you’re considering taking the leap with your next set of wheels, or willing to experiment with a rental, your next road trip could not only be better for the environment, but also show you a totally different side to your destination.

Get on track with the e-vehicle trend.

Seek out the spaces that provide impeccable night-time views © sripfoto / Shutterstock

Dark skies

When did you last take a good look at the night sky? What could you see? For many of us around the world, light pollution spoils the view. Sure, we can spot the moon – the Big Dipper if we’re lucky. But opportunities for true constellation admiration are few and far between. Fortunately, designated dark-sky spaces are on the increase, granting stargazers better access to spellbinding panoramas.