It seems like every few months there’s a hot new travel trend or gadget demanding our attention. It’s hard to know what’s really important to pay attention to and what’s just noise, so we decided to make those trends our August Twitter chat topic and learn directly from the world’s top travel experts.
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 there’s a new travel topic where we encourage participants to share advice with one another. To learn more, please see: http://landlopers.com/2013/05/01/tripitchat/
Here are some of the key takeaways from our last #TripItChat on top travel trends.
There are thousands of apps out there to help us travel the world. There are so many though that knowing which ones are the best can be confusing. So we asked our followers: OTHER than TripIt (which really is the best), what are some great apps that every travelers needs to have on their phone?
- Money is important to keep track of when you travel and @WondWand suggested one of the best apps out there for currency conversion–XE Currency.
- It’s a delicate subject, but knowing where the closest bathroom is is important, whether you’re on a road trip or just doing some urban sightseeing. #TripItChat co-host @RickGriffin suggests the Sit-Or-Squat app as the best way to find those all so important spots.
- Airline specific apps are important to lots of travelers, but many just aren’t that great. Travel expert @OrlandoChris reported that the new Delta app is worth the download.
- Other useful apps mentioned include: MapQuest, Google Maps, Kamino, Instagram, Uber, HotelTonight and Expedia.
Travel trends are important. They not only get folks excited about seeing the world, but they usually are fun too. We’ve seen a lot of trends, both fun and just downright strange over the years, and we asked our followers to put on their thinking caps and share what they think the NEXT hot travel trends will be.
- In an increasingly stressed-out world, @Finding40Book said that unplugged or tech-free vacations are going to become much more popular.
- For chat co-host @TravelBlggr, it’s all about the culture and access that only a river cruise can provide. She thinks their popularity will continue to skyrocket.
- With an eye toward the sky, chat participant @wanderingshane hoped that space travel would soon be a hot new trend.
- For more active travelers, @Gaplifetravel thinks that bike vacations will be the next big thing, whether it’s for the day or an entire trip!
Leaving on a Jet Plane
Most travelers will spend at least a little time (and sometimes a lot) in airports. Sadly, not all are made the same, so we asked chat participants to share their favorite airports around the world.
- @lorikeet8 started things off by nominating Nagoya International Airport thanks to its onsens (baths), great restaurants and amazing shopping.
- Thinking a bit more practically, @dreamybubz listed Frankfurt in Germany thanks to their comfortable benches–perfect for long layovers.
- Lounges are important for frequent flyers and @OrlandoChris said that the ones in Amsterdam’s airport are amongst the best he’s ever seen.
- Other popular choices were airports in Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, London and Copenhagen.
Latest and Greatest
Technology is always advancing and with it the number of travel-related gadgets and gizmos on the market. Once again we leaned on our experts and Twitter followers to share their favorite gadgets and which ones to avoid.
- Of course the most obvious one couldn’t be avoided as @WondWand pointed out when she answered smartphone as her gadget of choice.
- Traveler extraordinaire @JohnnyJet likes to stay healthy on the road and says nowadays he never leaves home without his FitBit.
- Looking to document his adventures no matter where he is, @MrDeclanConroy says he relies on his GoPro and handheld gimbal.
- While not necessarily new, @KathyBuckworth depends on portable batteries to keep all of her other gadgets charged and ready to go!
It’s Getting Hot In Here
It seems that travelers are always on the lookout for the next travel hotspot. Those destinations that many people may not know about but will soon make a big splash in the world of travel. Our followers had a lot of opinions on what may be the next Paris or Thailand.
- @emorata started off with an unusual choice, Sri Lanka, which admittedly is getting a lot more attention lately.
- Closer to home, chat co-host @SandiMcKenna said that America’s National Parks are seeing a huge resurgence in popularity.
- Keeping it simple, participant @SailTrilogy said any place where lots of people aren’t: safaris, small islands, Antarctica and other expedition-style travels.
- Other popular spots included Croatia, Malta, Bologna (Italy), Alberta, Cuba and Portugal.
Although guidebooks are far from dead, there’s no denying the important role that websites play in travel planning. From TripAdvisor to independent blogs, there’s a litany of sites from which to choose, and our followers definitely had some opinions on which ones are their favorites.
- Like many travelers, @FreeLikeBirdie says she uses LonelyPlanet for planning and TripAdvisor to check things out before booking.
- @OrlaPRCo says that she mostly trusts other travelers, whether it’s on travel blogs or forums, when it comes to getting reliable and accurate advice.
What are YOUR favorite travel trends?