Tips and Expert Advice for 2014 Travel

It may be hard to believe, but the new year is here and that means it’s time to make our 2014 travel plans for the year. In December, the monthly #TripItChat asked followers for their advice on the hot spots and expert tips for 2014 travel, and the responses were amazing!

What’s a Twitter chat? For those not familiar, TripIt holds a monthly chat on Twitter on the third Thursday of each month from 2 to 3 p.m. Pacific Time on the hashtag #TripItChat. Every month we encourage participants to share advice with one another on a new travel topic. To learn more, please see: http://landlopers.com/2013/05/01/tripitchat/

Here are some of the key takeaways from our last #TripItChat on 2014 travel plans.

 

Best of 2013
Whether you travel only once or twice a year, or are a bona fide Road Warrior, we all have trips that we like more than others. Sometimes it’s the destination, other times it’s little things, like a helpful concierge that makes the trip memorable. TripItChat participants had a great travel year based on the responses we got when we asked them about their favorite trips of 2013.

  • Tropical locations were a popular choice; @WeddingMaven said her trip to the Turks & Caicos was her favorite thanks to “Beautiful location. Amazing locals. Gorgeous beach.” Hard to argue with that!
  • Many times it’s an experience, though, that makes a place memorable and for @TravelBlggr that moment was eating S’mores on the beach with her husband at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island in Florida.
  • Who we travel with can also be important, as it was for @TravelLatte whose favorite trip was San Francisco just because of her travel companion. The chat erupted in a collective ‘aww’ after that heart-warming comment.
  • One of the most popular answers though was Croatia, showing just how popular this country on the rise is going to be in years to come.

 

Hot! Hot! Hot!
TripIt users are pro travelers, and they jumped at the chance to share their picks for 2014’s new travel hot spots.

  • 2014 seems to be the year of sports travel as chat participant @toddotodd pointed out. With the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and both the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games in Scotland, 2014 is a great travel year for sports fans.
  • Many National Parks in the U.S. are celebrating major anniversaries making 2014 a great time to explore some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world.
  • One of the most popular answers though was Iceland, where, according to @MsAdventurous, you can dive between two tectonic plates, explore inside a volcano, and even hike across glaciers.
  • You don’t have to go far though for an amazing trip in 2014. @Hurstism pointed out that some of the best places are in our own backyards! Local travel is another hot 2014 travel trend as more and more people explore areas within an easy drive of home.

 

Now Trending
In addition to hot spots, we also asked chat participants for the hot new travel trends in 2014 and some of the responses were pretty surprising!

  • @SandiMcKenna pointed out a trend that’s been making a comeback – cruising! Cruises have changed a lot in recent years and new options in adventure and river cruises in particular are attracting more guests than ever before.
  • Food travel is also another quickly rising trend and @MotherOfAllTrip says that in particular the food-table phenomenon is motivating more people to embark on culinary specific travels.
  • Today’s traveler is also a more thoughtful traveler and chat participant @Breathedreamgo believes that education-based travel and voluntourism will both see a lot more interest in 2014.
  • One of the most surprising answers came from @SuitcaseGlory who said that a new form of luxury travel will continue to increase in popularity. One that isn’t garish and excessive, but rather one that is based on getting closer to local communities and authentic experiences.

 

Cash In Those Points
Since TripIt users are pro travelers, they’re also pros at using points! There are a lot of great ideas here on how to get the most out of those hard earned miles.

  • Many of us save miles for luxury travel, including @MiddleSeatView, who says she’s saving her points for a trip to Europe in business class.
  • Loyalty matters, and travel expert @LeeAbbamonte says he’s loyal to Starwood and can’t wait to use his points in 2014 for a relaxing stay at the W Hollywood Hotel.
  • Sometimes you have to be creative in order to maximize points and miles like @TheDealMommy, who is traveling from the U.S. to Canada to the U.K. to Germany and back home all on the same ticket!

 

Moments In Time
People travel for many reasons, but millions leave home every year for special events. Here are some of the festivals, matches, and concerts that get TripIt users excited to hit the road in 2014.

  • Not surprising the World Cup will attract millions to Brazil this year, including chat participant @KaraFranker.
  • It’s not just sports that have people excited though. @AustinBeeman says he wants to attend the colorful Holi festival in India.
  • Other popular events in 2014 to keep track of include: The Winter Olympics, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, food and wine festivals around the world, Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Mardi Gras, Day of the Dead in Mexico, and the Top Gear festival in Barbados, amongst many others.

 

Scoring Deals
The TripItChat participants know what they’re doing when it comes to travel and had a lot to offer on how to score great hotel and flight deals in 2014.

  • Airlines are merging and others are changing their frequent flier programs so @LeeAbbamonte says to cash out your miles NOW before they lose a lot of their value.
  • When it comes to timing, @laurberry9 says not to wait until the last minute and be sure to travel during off-peak days and times.
  • Social media is an increasingly important way to get great travel deals and @SeaWorldMommy says to be sure to follow your favorite airlines and hotels on Twitter and Facebook since they announce many special sales only on social media.
  • All pro travelers know that flexibility is key and that’s especially true when booking travel. @DonNadeau says to search many different dates as the difference in price can sometimes be dramatic.

 

Where do you hope to go in 2014?
Don’t forget to join us for the next #TripItChat on January 16, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. Pacific/5:00 p.m. Eastern, when we’ll be talking about Business Travel Tips.