Top 10 Travel Trends for 2019
One hundred million people pin inspiration on Pinterest, with 76 percent of those pins being travel-related. That's 760,000 pins on travel alone! With so many sharing their bucket list ideas and hoping to find new places to check out, the social media giant gets a glimpse at what we're looking for when booking our next trip.
Every year, Pinterest reveals its pinners' most popular searches to predict the hottest trends. What does the Pinterest 100 think will become the next must-dos?
Follow along, and be inspired for your next trip.
Is it any wonder that bus travel is on the rise when airlines continue to raise prices and charge for everything under the sun, from a seat assignment to a carry-on bag to a boarding pass?
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, travelers have increasingly been jumping on the bandwagon, or rather bus — nearly 70 million people in the U.S. journey by bus to their destinations, and that number has been ticking up year-over-year. Greyhound bus lines annually service millions of passengers, with 5.4 billion passenger miles recorded in 2015. Even in Europe and Asia, the bus operator Distribusion reported its travel market is a more than $75 billion industry.
Perhaps it's time to clip your wings and save some money on your next trip by catching a bus?
While someone else does the driving, you can sit back and relax, as well as take in fantastic views via the bus.
Need inspiration? How about following 750 miles along the Rhine River, which runs from Switzerland to the Netherlands, including a beautiful German stretch called the Castle Route? There are 40 hilltop castles overlooking the river and the 36-mile stretch of road that follows it between Bingen to Koblenz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Many bus companies will allow you to stop to check out a few of the castles and nearby wineries before catching the next bus. There are also plenty of tour companies that will take you along the entire route by bus.
Speaking of castles, modern-day binge-worthy TV shows like "Game of Thrones" and "Downton Abbey" created a travel boom, with people clamoring to visit the castles and backdrops of their favorite shows.
While lines to see Versailles palace extend for hours, even with pre-purchased tickets, more off-the-beaten-path castles and ruins are becoming increasingly enticing. You can witness a slice of world history without the lines, crowds and exorbitant entry fees.
Lovijenac Fortress, Croatia
Looking for a castle worthy of the airfare? Croatia's walled city serves as King's Landing on "Game of Thrones," with the Lovijenac Fortress filling in as the Red Keep.
Found in the Adriatic Seaside city of Dubrovnik, check out the impressive defensive stone walls protecting all of Old Town from attackers by land and sea. These walls have never been breached since the buildings were added in the Middle Ages!
Venice and Barcelona have become so popular, the cities are considering restricting how many people can visit. Who needs that kind of chaos?
Off-the-beaten-path travel continues to be a trend not just with castles but with small towns boasting fantastic charm and thinner crowds than giant tourist cities. Plus, visiting a smaller town may give you a better chance to experience the local culture than a tourist trap.
As for Pinterest's predicted trend of unique B&Bs, have you seen these awesomely distinctive Airbnbs?
Vence, France, about 20 minutes away from bustling Nice, offers peace and quiet in a charming small-town setting.
High in the hills, you may not stay at a beachfront resort here, but you'll take in beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea and French Riviera.
The provincial town has been walled since medieval times and served as a religious commune at its inception. Today, it is filled with art galleries, museums and boutiques. Famed French artists Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse found inspiration here, and so can you.
If you rent a car, you can call Vence home and explore Provence.
That longing to explore the less-explored extends to islands, as well, according to Pinterest. Hawaii is just so yesterday. (Not to say that its islands are not fantastically gorgeous, of course.)
You want remote? How about the islands of Africa?
In Tanzania you can visit the Zanzibar Archipelago, just off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean. While you may want to stay on the main island of Unguja, there are many smaller islands beckoning — all you need is a boat.
Charter a sail and head off to discover uninhabited islands and enjoy private swims, plus beach time surrounded by water so clear you won't need a snorkel to see to the bottom.
Instead of beach vacations being top of mind, travelers craving the "new" and "different" are heading to thermal springs.
What are thermal springs, you ask? Basically, they're nature's hot tubs. With geothermal springs found on every continent, this is a trend you can easily follow.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
For both a natural hot spring and a high-end resort, visit Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon. Located on Reykjanes Peninsula, the Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa surrounded by 800-year-old volcanic black rock — you'll feel like you are swimming on the face of the moon!
A new hotel, The Retreat, that opened on the banks of the lagoon provides private pools and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lava field. Prices at The Retreat start at $1,000, and Beyoncé and her posse have taken all 35 of the rooms in the past, so you know this is the hottest place to be.
High-end resorts in cool locations also need to be more sustainable, according to travelers' searches. "Green" and "sustainable" hotels are becoming a must-have, with travelers demanding that the hotels they stay in contribute to the local community and don't have a huge energy footprint.
Just what does a hotel need to be considered environmentally friendly? Using non-toxic cleaning products, renewable energy sources, energy-efficient lighting, and bulk soaps and amenities to reduce waste are some requirements. Extra points go to properties that ban smoking, recycle, and grow their own foods or source from local vendors.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Resort
With the family name at stake, of course Jean-Michel Cousteau created a sustainable resort in Fiji. The resort looks to take as little as possible from the environment, and to give back as much as it can.
It partners with the Sustainable Reefs program to help the Pacific Region understand the importance of healthy reefs, teaches children and guests how to care for the sea with educational programs, and works to create new strategies for sustainability.
The 17-acre property is surrounded by lush forests. Cousteau converted the property, once a coconut plantation, into a luxury resort with views of the nearby coral reefs, creating just the setting one would imagine of a beachfront hotel in Fiji.
Speaking of beautiful beaches, Rio de Janeiro has captivated travelers in 2019. After hosting the 2018 Summer Olympics, all eyes were on Brazil, with travelers inspired by the rainforests, mountains, sandy beaches and exciting culture seen during television broadcasts.
Rio de Janeiro
Now that the Olympics are over, rates for airfare and accommodations have dropped back to normal, so you can finally make your way to Brazil to experience the second-largest city in the country.
From Carnaval parties to tropical drinks on Copacabana's happening beach — where the itsy-bitsy Brazilian bikini is the suit of choice — discover for yourself why Rio is hot, in both senses of the word.
Looking for a more peaceful communion with nature? The Tijuca rainforest, away from the hustle and bustle, is the world's largest urban forest, home to 30 waterfalls and towering peaks.
Maybe Brazil won't be the place you sneak off to without any clue, but a new trend in travel is taking a group vacation where only one person knows the destination. You know those cute YouTube videos of parents surprising their kids with a trip to Disney World? Friends and families are doing the same by making a surprise out of their future whereabouts.
Accessible via easy and relatively cheap flights from around the United States, there are few better places to book a surprise vacation to than NOLA.
Here, the parties on Bourbon Street last well into the night, the beignets are delicious and the Garden District is compact enough to explore even when hungover. And that's to say nothing of a live-music scene to rival all live-music scenes, with rock, pop, blues and, of course, jazz playing around every corner.
Fall is considered off-peak travel time for the industry, as summer comes to an end, school begins and vacations screech to a halt. For those who still have vacation time to spare, fall is perfect for adventures surrounded by colorful fall foliage, with low, low prices to boot.
Seems it's also on Pinterest's radar — many travel pins are focused on leaf-peeping escapes.
The Pocono Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania are a colorful delight come October and November. Ample hiking trails, including those found along the Appalachian Trail, can be explored when the air takes on a crisp chill before snow covers the hills.
You'll also find lakes for kayaking, rivers for whitewater rafting, horseback-riding trails and rock-climbing areas. And don't miss Bushkill Falls, aka "The Niagara of Pennsylvania," featuring eight waterfalls spread across 300 acres.
Outdoor time is big with Pinterest travelers, who have discovered that biking can be an even better form of transit than busing.
Simply spend a few hours exploring a city by bike (made easy thanks to rent-by-the-hour city-bikes programs), or get ambitious and bike from city to city on a longer-jaunt vacation.
Wachau Valley, Austria
One of the best areas to bike is along Austria's Rhine River, where the paved bicycle paths are flat and easy to manage, but you are surrounded by the Austrian mountains.
The Wachau Valley, in particular, makes for a great day of biking, as the valley is renowned for its grape-growing and wineries. What better way to catch your breath than by sampling some local wines?