There’s still a few weeks before 2017 is over, but that’s never stopped any of us from daydreaming about next year’s big getaway. But before pointing your finger to a random spot on the map and readying your wanderlust hashtag, read what the pros at Airbnb, HomeAway and Pinterest have to say 2018’s big travel trends.
Next Year’s It Cities
Move over, Reykjavík. Consider booking a trip to Gangneung, Korea: Thanks to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, searches for rentals in the coastal city have increased by more than 2,000 percent. Other trending locations include Bournemouth, UK, and Hanoi, Vietnam. On Pinterest, desert destinations like Morocco have seen a 125 percent increase in pins, meaning it’s not too late for a trip to Marrakech.
But you shouldn’t rule out the traditionally tourist-filled cities, which topped Airbnb’s Most Popular list. There’s always a new side of Paris you have yet to explore or London’s latest restaurant opening you need to check out. And if you still haven’t made it to Portugal, it’s time to see what the hype is all about.
Midwest Is Best
When you need a weekend getaway, ignore the country’s coastal hubs and meet in the middle: Both Airbnb and HomeAway cite Midwestern states like Oklahoma, Indiana and Ohio as up-and-coming places to visit when you’re looking to stay domestic. Chalk up that newfound popularity to exploding downtown districts, nightlife scenes and some of the best—and underrated—new restaurants in the country.
The creature comforts of a posh hotel are hard to deny, but travelers are checking out of their suites in favor of nontraditional, alternative lodging, which saw a 700 percent increase in Airbnb bookings. Swap out the penthouse for a cozy treehouse rental, like Georgia’s secluded retreat that’s one of the most wish-listed properties in the world. Not a fan of heights? Other on-the-rise options might be for you, like spacious, “home-ified” barns and gorgeous houseboats where you’re always guaranteed a waterfront view.
Cruises: Not Just for the Retired Set
If you’d rather be on a boat that’s meant to go somewhere, it’s time to give cruises a second chance—and we’re not talking about mega ships with all-you-can-eat buffets. Pins for smaller river cruises increased by more than 346 percent last year; whether that means setting sail on an Antarctic expedition or a Scottish whiskey-fueled boat is entirely up to you.
Live like a Local
According to Pinterest, saves for local travel increased by 146 percent. And Airbnb launched its locals-led Experiences platform earlier this year, with food and drink being the most popular category. So after you’ve thrown your coin into the Trevi Fountain, take a tour of the restaurants only Romans know about and remind yourself there’s more than one island in Japan.