Summer may be winding down, but that doesn't mean you can't get in on the best travel trends of the season. Travel + Leisure talked to some travel pros to reveal the best hacks, tips, and ideas that are defining travel in Summer 2019. Let them inspire your next warm-weather trip.
If a day at the pool with friends and a cocktail sounds like where you'd like to be, try “pooling.” An ingenious staycation (or vacation) idea, pooling works by booking a hotel room with a group of friends and splitting the cost so that everyone can enjoy the pool together.
“Hotel pools have a lot of perks that you just can’t find at a public pool, including food and beverage service,” said Mel Dohmen, Senior Travel Brand Manager at Orbitz.com. “For the cost of one night at a hotel, it can be worth it to hang out with friends at the adults only pool or with a tiki drink in-hand.”
If you’d like to explore pooling beyond your own locale, Dohmen suggests Las Vegas, Miami, and Palm Springs for their pool and party scenes.
Neighborhoods offer different ways to commune with a city, each one with their own quirks, perks and vibes. On a city visit, why take just one facet in? That's the thinking behind “hood hopping,” or breaking up a trip into multiple stays in different neighborhoods of the same city. HotelTonight, the online travel app that allows users to book discounted hotels for last minute bookings, sees this trend clearly in their data. CEO Sam Shank notes, “We find that when our bookers decide to extend their stay, 60 percent of the time it's at a different hotel but in the same city as their original stay.”
And, why not? New neighborhoods not only give a different flavor of a city, but offer a new slate of different experiences, sometimes even giving the feeling of traveling to a whole new destination, at a fraction of the travel time.
Meet-ups With Friends
Traveling with friends can be great — except for the planning part. Lining up busy schedules, waiting for others to commit and deciding where to go by committee is better left for someone else. Why not book a solo trip — on your own terms — and invite your crew along for them to decide?
One T+L reader, Marc Madenwald of Seattle, did just that for an upcoming birthday weekend and explained, “I was reluctant to invite friends because I didn't think people would want to commit to the time or money. I was surprised — no, honored — at how many people from across my spectrum of friends were willing to come together to celebrate a milestone event in an epic way.”
Taking several shorter, more frequent trips — as opposed to one big, grand vacation — is on the rise. Doing so relieves some of the planning and organizing needed for longer hauls, as well as the difficulty of missing longer periods of work or family time. Additionally, stringing several micro-trips together guarantees you always have something to look forward to.
Micro-trips have been made easier with a slew of online apps that allow for last minute bookings, such as Hotels.com, Bookings.com and HotelTonight. The latter app was built upon the idea. Shank explains, “Now a popular trend, micro-trips have been part of HotelTonight's DNA since day one, given our focus on last-minute, spontaneous travel. Ninety-nine percent of our bookings are for stays of five nights or less, and 77 percent are for two nights or less. Our primarily millennial bookers have opted for more frequent, shorter trips throughout the year versus the one long, planned-in-advanced vacation. This is a trend driven by Millennials and adopted by Gen Z — both generations that prefer experiences over possessions and see frequent travel as a way to collect more of these experiences.”
Road Tripping With Pets
Travelers are now less likely to leave their pets at home while away. According to a recent Orbitz summer travel survey, 77 percent of pet owners say they plan to take a road trip with their pet this summer. Hotels are taking note. Many offer pet-friendly perks, including pet beds, food and water bowl room delivery, disposable pick-up bags and public grassy areas for furry friends to enjoy. This shows in the numbers, too: Orbitz has seen a 40 percent year-over-year increase in travelers using pet-friendly search filters to find pet-friendly lodging.
One such property, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, sees pets simply as four-legged guests. “Pets are an extension of our guest's family, and play an important role in travel companionship,” said Doug Varsano, Director of Sales and Marketing at the property. “Our Omni Hotels & Resorts associates understand that every furry traveler has different needs, and take the opportunity to go above and beyond to connect with guests on yet another very important and personal level.”
The changing ways that we travel can be attributed to changes in modern living, and a young generation coming of age. Dohmen adds, “Millennial travelers are redefining travel norms and learning to take trips that fit their schedule, not the other way around. Whether that’s taking micro-trips or planning a passion trip and then inviting others to join along, this generation is making their time off work for them.”
Whatever your age, the end of summer is still weeks away. Plenty of time to pack your bags and get away, even if it’s for just a micro-trip.