From the best destinations to visit to emerging technology and gadgets, we asked a panel of experts for their tips and tricks in our recent Twitter chat on 2014 Travel Trends. Here's what they had to say:
What travel trends are you rooting for (or wish would go away) this year?
It’s a new year and T+L is already scoping out the most popular travel trends of 2014. From the hottest destinations to the latest in tech travel and hotel perks, we've got you covered. Join us for a one-hour Twitter chat this Wednesday, January 8th from 2-3pm EDT for an inside look at what's new in travel this year.
The map of most checked-into destinations for 25 countries shows that the theme park empire holds the number one spot in an impressive four countries: Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland.
The California park's ranking increased a slot since 2012, overtaking Times Square to become the most checked-in locale in the US.
Millennials are on the mind of travel industry insiders. What is this group looking for in a travel experience? How can hoteliers and agents entice this growing segment of luxury travelers?
To help answer these questions, earlier this month T+L hosted the Rising Stars luncheon at ILTM Cannes, the largest luxury travel forum of the year. Sitting around a ballroom-sized table, the 12 Rising Star agents—each handpicked by a member of T+L’s Travel Advisory Board—shared their insights with executives from key hotel groups, from Fairmont to Six Senses.
Juice Press in New York. Pressed Juicery in California. Another day, another juice bar. Over the last year, this all-liquid health food trend has captivated cities across the country—and hotels have been squeezing what they can out of it as well. A few of the latest offerings we’ve come across:
The Hotel Palomar San Francisco—home to the gluten-free mini bar—has teamed up with Pressed Juicery, which recently opened its first San Francisco location. The “Pressed, Pampered & Purified” package includes six daily juices, a cleansing guide, cooler, and complimentary use of bikes. (If eschewing chewing in America’s best food city seems like torture, try drinking them just for breakfast and/or lunch.)
It's more and more possible to bake your favorite desserts—from NYC or elsewhere—at home.
Jet-setters travel worldwide for regional delicacies—Japan for sushi, Cuba for sandwiches, Vermont for anything maple. Whether craving a New Orleans Cafe Du Monde beignet, a batch of brownies or cups of chocolate, there are mixes for millions of foodie fans to enjoy without mulling over airfare, packing, and passports. Just add water (or a few other pantry items).
For the sugar-loving, New York City-enthusiast—here are some specialties that originated in Manhattan venues and migrated to kitchens near and far:
This week Crystal Cruises announced that it’s installing the cruise industry’s first hypoallergenic staterooms. Made in conjunction with PURE Global—the brand behind PURE rooms at SLS Beverly Hills and Fairmont Chicago, among many others—each of the 70 new rooms on Crystal Serenity will have filters that remove 99.9% of impurities and dust. Other perks: “bacteriostatic barriers” applied everywhere for germaphobes, tea tree oil disinfectants, and allergy-friendly bedding. My favorite part? There’s no additional charge to stay in them. Aren’t you feeling better already?
Kathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @ThePluckyOne.
Color wars. Village communities demarked by wildlife flags. A reveille bugle to wake us every morning. The 325 of us, ranging in ages from 19 to 67, were warned. We were prepped. But it was only when we stepped deep into the cover of 80 acres of cool redwoods in Anderson Valley (three hours north of San Francisco), into a 1970’s boy scout camp straight out of Wes Anderson’s wildest dream that we realized, finally, where we were.
And not just any camp. A camp for adults. Without electronic devices, computers, phones, lights, heat, or watches. We were not to speak about the “W” word (that would be work), what we did for a job (hereto forth to be called “fun” or “play”), and that revealing our names or ages would result in severe punishment (pulling out one another’s hair, strand by strand for each offense). We were asked to hand over our bags of iPads, Kindles, iPhones, Blackberries, digital cameras and a jumble of cords. Mine alone weighed 15 pounds and was giving me a lopsided walk; just one of the many reasons I had signed up for this experience. The offending devices went into a paper sack and were unceremoniously locked away as the campers (again, mostly me) whimpered softly.
The 1,980-room hotel, New York City's largest, isn't the first hotel to discontinue that amenity, but it's probably the biggest. It's all part of a lodging industry trend to cut the frills and concentrate on basic service—a trend that the airlines pioneered with the introduction of controversial fees.
Around the nation and across the globe, hotels are curtailing such extras as business centers, minibars, bellhops, doormen and even traditional front desks for checking in. Yotel New York in Midtown Manhattan, for instance, asks guests to check themselves in at kiosks in the hotel's "Ground Control." And if their rooms aren't ready, Yotel's guests check their suitcases with a robotic baggage storage system.
Reports have been popping up everywhere since the announcement, and the tiny airline's official website confirms the new policy with a statement that reads: "We at Samoa Air are keeping airfares fair, by charging our passengers only for what they weigh. You are the master of your Air'fair', you decide how much (or little) your ticket will cost. No more exorbitant excess baggage fees, or being charged for baggage you may not carry. Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple."
Is it so simple? Not everyone is pleased with this idea. The Guardian's Ally Fogg wrote that the new policy "panders to a particularly unpleasant trend in modern culture that legitimises and even celebrates fat-shaming and body fascism. At its most crude this is manifest in straightforward cruelty and discrimination."
Chris Langton, head of Samoa Air, defended the idea—and suggested it may be the start of an industry-wide trend—in an Australian radio interview quoted by the BBC: "People generally are bigger, wider and taller than they were 50 years ago… The industry will start looking at this."