Knives out: Revenge travel is a dish best served with a glass of something local. Photo / Unsplash, Alison Courtney; Getty
The return to overseas travel and easing of borders has opened up a whole horizon of possibilities for Kiwi travellers. Some are less familiar than others.
As international tourism shifts gears back into go-mode, the menu of specialised trips and tours appears to have grown in our absence.
This week Flight Centre’s David Coombes said that the company was hoping to ride a wave of “revenge travel” in their rebuild.
Travellers are pursuing their “bucket list” with the same intensity as Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.
Two years of MIQ and suspended air links have honed their travel plans with laser focus – they know exactly what they want. In some cases that’s very specific.
There is no shortage of weird and wonderful predictions of the travel trends in 2022.
Before you slip back into the familiar ‘fly and flop’ or city break across the ditch, have you considered taking a “buddymoon”?
This is both the year of the “Brocation” and the “secular spiritual retreat” – or so assorted tourism boards have assured me. There are a lot of exotic holiday trends you’ve likely not encountered before.
To decipher some of the odder trends for 2022, we’ve compiled a glossary for honing your holiday plans.
Rather than an expensive destination wedding, couples are opting to bring their friends along for the honeymoon.
Previously, inviting other people to your post nuptials was a bad sign for a marriage’s longevity. But it’s a practical decision.
Spend savvy couples are aware that the words ‘wedding ceremony’ instantly triples the cost of any hotel booking.
Now couples are deciding to save on the big day, and use that money on a trip that everyone can enjoy.
Mexico’s Velas Resorts pioneered the idea for a Buddymoon package back in 2017. Essentially it’s a honeymoon that singletons can enjoy, wins all round!
You’ve spent the last two years putting off overseas travel, you’re making up for lost time. You’ve honed in on exactly what you want to do and no amount of pre/post departure RATs or circuitous air connections are going to put you off your goal.
“People are searching for very specific things,” says Bruce Poon Tip of G Adventures.
“They saying ‘I want to climb Kilimanjaro’ or ‘I want to see Machu Picchu’, rather than just ‘what do you have in West Africa or Peru?’.
Now they can, people are picking up plans cancelled by the pandemic, or finally pursuing that dream trip.
It will take a while for jetlag to catch up with us, but even before the pandemic there was a growing movement that was shunning air travel.
Flygskam was an entry in another year’s travel glossary. From the Swedish meaning “Flight Shame” it was championed by climate activists like Greta Thunberg, encouraging travellers to cut down on their jet fuel emissions.
Slow travel is the next logical stop on that journey. It’s about flying less and thinking more about our travel choices. Finding an alternative, more eco-conscious route might be slower but it is more rewarding.
Hike Hyde, Chief data officer for the European rail app Trainline has said they’ve already seen an increase from green travellers. “There’s an exciting future ahead for travellers who want to experience more by train and discover the delights it has to offer,” he said.
Workation and Bleisure travel
WFH is an acronym that has become redundant for most office workers.
After Auckland’s 100-day lockdown last year, many employees are still dialling in remotely. There has been a realisation that “Work From Home” can apply to ANY home, ANYWHERE. Some letting websites have already seen a boost in weekday bookings. Last year Airbnb offered to pay for the accommodation for 12 lucky travellers on a “year of living nomadically”, hosting a competition on their website.
The birth of ‘Bleisure’ travel may sound repugnant, but it’s a thing. Blending business and leisure travel has led to the launch of companies such as Remote Year and Hacker Paradise – concierge services helping digital professionals travel and network around the globe.
Destinations such as Barbados, Georgia, Anguilla, Dominica, and Bermuda have launched digital nomad visas for longer-term stays.
With longer trips planned, it’s time to test time zones and wi-fi connections for some truly remote work.
Maxi-break and mini-sabbaticals
On the other side of the work-hard play-hard PowerPoint, we have the ‘Maxibrake’ or mini sabbatical. Growing out of office trends such as the ‘Great resignation’, some travellers are using 2022, to take a detour and explore other career opportunities.
It’s a chance to find a new vocation while on vacation.
Travel agency Aweventurer has launched a series of mini-sabbaticals to help connect travellers with professionals in a different area. This could involve a design apprenticeship in Oaxaca, or connecting with tech entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv, or tasting food and wine in Tuscany on a viticulture crash-course.
The babymoon has become a popular holiday choice for first time parents. It involves going on a last blow-out holiday before the little one arrives.
Long-haul and late-term travel is out of the question but it’s a fast growing trend.
In Australia and New Zealand Peppers resorts started offering babymoon packages with a
foetus-friendly ‘food on the womb’ catering service. As stomach-churning as that might sound, getting a taste of last-minute grown-up luxury is high on the priority list.
One last hurrah, before it is all all crayons and car journeys.
Pilgrimages are having a renaissance the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1500s.
Researchers at the universities of Oxford and Swansea have seen indicators that in a post-pandemic world, we are
“Since the pandemic began, many of us have spent more time close to mountains, rivers, waterfalls and parks, for psychological recovery, spiritual recharge, and as a form of meaningful travel,” said the study’s author Jaeyeon Choe.
The most famous example, Spain’s Camino san Sebastian has already climbed to pre-pandemic numbers of walkers.
You don’t have to be of any particular denomination to enjoy a pilgrimage.
Two long-distance medieval pilgrim routes – St Aidan’s Trail and St Patrick’s Trail – have been restored to allow more people the joy of a pilgrim’s progress.