Top 8 Travel Predictions for 2018 (and What They Mean for Canadian Travellers)

Planning a trip in the New Year? The experts at Booking.com reveal their travel predictions for 2018, and what they mean for Canadian travellers.

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Is the Taj Mahal on your travel bucket list?Photo: Booking.com

1. Bucket list travel

Have you got a travel bucket list? According to Booking.com research, 45% of Canadian travellers do, and of that 45%, 82% plan to check at least one destination off of that list in 2018. Popular bucket list destinations include:

* Wonders of the world (47%)
* Destinations boasting iconic food/cuisine (35%)
* An island paradise (34%)
* Theme parks (34%)
* An epic road trip or rail journey (25%)

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Canadian travellers are influenced by nostalgiaPhoto: Booking.com

2. Canadian travellers love vintage vacations

According to Booking.com, Canadian travellers are taking inspiration from the past when planning future travel. Fuelled by a sense of nostalgia, 34% of us are planning to return to a previously loved destination in 2018. And it’s not just mature travellers who are seeking to recapture happy memories, either: 44% of 18 to 34 year olds (yes, that’s the Millennial crowd!) plan on revisiting a favourite family vacation site in 2018.

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Canadian travellers love wellness vacationsPhoto: Booking.com

3. Wellness vacations

Forget lazing on the beach while sucking back bottomless cocktails: the latest trend among Canadian travellers is to take a health-driven holiday. In fact, Booking.com reports that travellers planning a “wellness getaway” have doubled from one in 10 in 2017 to nearly one in five in 2018. Trips that provide opportunities for hiking and walking make up the lion’s share, accounting for 56% of wellness getaways. Spa and beauty treatments, cycling opportunities, and water sports are also proving to be powerful draws for health-conscious Canadian travellers.

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Dubrovnik is a filming location for Game of ThronesPhoto: Booking.com

4. Pop culture pilgrimages

Have you ever felt the thrill of walking up to an iconic filming location and feeling it with your own two hands? If so, you’ll understand how powerfully pop culture can influence our travel plans. In 2018, Canadian travellers will be particularly swayed by the locations featured prominently in their favourite TV shows. Leading that list is Game of Thrones-inspired travel, with Dubrovnik, Croatia, and other locations in Spain, Ireland and Iceland proving irresistible to fans of the immensely popular series.

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High tech tools for Canadian travellersPhoto: ShutterStock

5. High-tech tools

Although most of us already go online to research a destination before booking a holiday, the experts at Booking.com say those digital decision-making tools will go next-level in 2018. That’s partly down to technological innovations, but also because Canadian travellers are increasingly trusting of artificial intelligence. According to Booking.com research, 29% of global travellers say they’re comfortable letting a computer plan an upcoming trip based on data from their previous travel history. What’s more, half of those polled said they don’t mind if they deal with a real person or a computer, so long as their questions are answered.

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Canadian travellers are cost consciousPhoto: ShutterStock

6. Canadian travellers want the biggest bang for their buck

Canadian travellers are nothing if not cost-conscious. In 2018, we’ll be looking for destinations that stretch our dollar to the max, with nearly half of us (47%) taking the currency exchange into consideration before booking. That’s not to say we’re super-stingy—we just like to get the biggest bang for our buck. In fact, according to Booking.com, one in four of us is planning a trip specifically to buy goods for cheaper than we can get at home.

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Canadian travellers choose to holiday with friendsPhoto: Booking.com

7. Group getaways

Although solo travel will always make up a significant segment of the market, 2018 is all about what Booking.com is calling “The Great Mate Escape.” Of the Canadian travellers surveyed, a quarter indicated that they’d be holidaying with a group of friends in 2018. This marks a 4% increase over 2017—the largest growth in any travelling companion segment in the survey. Although this can be attributed in part to our desire for shared experiences, travelling with friends is also often a wallet-friendly move as well. In fact, four out of 10 respondents indicated that the shared expenses involved with group travel means they’ll be able to splurge a bit more on accommodations.

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Canadian travellers want to live like localsPhoto: Booking.com

8. Going local

One out of three Canadian travellers would prefer to stay in an Airbnb-style home or apartment rental over a conventional hotel. Why? Well, the experts at Booking.com put it down to our desire for an authentic experience—one that’s more easily satisfied by living like the locals than by checking into a generic chain hotel. There are limits to our love for Airbnb, however—we like our hosts to be available but not overbearing (30%), and some of us don’t want any interaction with the host at all (12%).

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