5 top travel trends in 2017

5 top travel trends in 2017This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclaimer for more info

Kotiblogit coverThis is part of an article that first appeared in the April 2017 issue of Finnish lifestyle magazine, Kotiblogit in Finnish.

Every year, almost 1.2 billion people travel abroad, and that number is expected to increase by around 5% year on year [UN World Tourism Organisation].

With more and more people travelling the world what are the top travel trends in 2017?

1 | Responsible Travel

Dont ride elephants

The United Nations named 2017 the Year of Sustainable Tourism in recognition of the environmental and social impact tourism has on our world. In practical terms, this means travellers are taking more time to assess the impact their trips have on local communities and the environment.

Many people choose to travel by train rather than plane or car to reduce their environmental footprint.

Other travellers are avoiding wildlife tours that may harm animals. Some examples of this are elephant rides and tiger patting experiences in South East Asia.

We always try to ensure our tourism dollar is spent with local organisations when we travel and avoid international chains where possible. That way tourist revenues stay with and support local communities.

camden walking tour with unseen and visit.org

I am an ambassador for Visit.org who aim to make socially conscious travel easy, fun, and accessible by promoting local experiences around the world delivered by not for profit community groups. With Visit.org you can really make a difference.

Go on a walking tour of London neighbourhoods and support the vulnerably housed individuals they hire as guides.

In Africa, you can join safari across the Great Rift Valley with a group committed to the development and education of Tanzanian children. Learn more at www.visit.org

Another excellent way to support the communities you visit is to shop at local markets for your supplies. I particularly love the fresh seasonal produce available at French markets.

2 | Special stays

HouseboatinAmsterdam quirkyaccommodationoptions

Why book a small, dark hotel room in Amsterdam when you could rent a houseboat on the canals? Travellers are looking for interesting places to stay on their vacations with all the added extras.

Let your imagination run wild and choose rest your head in an eco-lodge, yurt, chateau or even a rainforest treehouse. You get a new perspective on your destination and have wonderful memories of your trip to share long after the experience is over.

Quirky accommodation options – The Canopy

If you like visiting cities, the best hosts on Airbnb and other short-term rental sites include lots of special additions with your booking. Nearby restaurant recommendations, luxury toiletries and tasty local treats await you at your accommodation.

In London, the Plum Guide takes all the hard work out of finding the best apartments to rent. They curate a collection of unique and inspiring homes available for short term rental where all the special touches are included in very reasonable rates. Check out these special London stays at plumguide.com

3 | Multigenerational travel

2017 travel trends - multigenerational travel

As we lead busier lives, spending quality time with those we care about the most becomes more important. Increasingly, people are choosing to holiday with their extended family including grandparents, aunts, uncles and children.

The key to enjoying a vacation like this is to make sure there is a wide variety of activities for all family members to enjoy. An Italian villa holiday ticks all the boxes for me.

Rent a villa with a pool close to a small town with great local restaurants you can walk to and close to some historical and cultural sites for sightseeing. You can find some brilliant options on Bookings For You a booking site specialising in Italian villas.

4 | Foodie travels

Eat cannoli in Sicily

Chances are some of the best memories of your travels are of the delicious food that you ate along the way whether you seek out street food or Michelin stars. You are not alone.

Let your taste buds lead your adventures and find the best pastry in Paris, the most delicious pasta in Italy or a Mexican seafood feast you will be talking about for years to come.

I recommend joining a local food tour on your next trip. Not only will you try the local dishes but you inevitably learn about your destination in a unique way.

On a recent visit to Venice, we discovered local food traditions and learned about the history and culture of the lagoon city on a walking food tour. It was one of the highlights of our travels last year.

5 | Immersive experiences

a bike tour of east berlin guide

Travelling can be so much more than gentle wandering around sites. People of all ages are increasingly seeking deeper cultural experiences when they travel whether that be a short city walking tour or a longer overnight writing or art course in an exotic location.

In Berlin, we enjoyed a fascinating bike tour of the east of the city that included visiting lesser known sites and learning about the history of the areas we saw.

An extended culinary break in Italy is at the top of my experience wish list. Many communities are joining forces to offer unique experiences including cooking classes, wine tasting and cheese making. Visit Palazzo Tronconi in Italy’s Lazio region and enjoy a luxury farm stay and a gastronomic adventure you will be talking about for years to come.

What trends are you seeing in travel? Are there any travel trends that interest you and you would like to try? And are there some that just seem plain silly?

2017 top trends - explore the trends shaping travel

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2017 top trends - explore the trends shaping travel


  1. 3rd May 2017 / 4:01 PM

    I can definitely get on board with all of these trends! Love that people are making sustainable choices more and more when they travel. Working on a green guide to Copenhagen – stay tuned! Cheers, Erin

    • 7th May 2017 / 10:04 AM

      Great stuff Erin. Looking forward to that green guide to CPH!

  2. Wherejogoes
    4th May 2017 / 8:27 AM

    I think you’ve nailed it with these trends. People want to feel that they are contributing something to the local economy when they travel whether it be a tour with a socially responsible organisation or an immersive experience. Foodie travel is one that our children are old enough now to get on board with, we just did our first food tour with them and they really enjoyed it so we would definitely do more of these in future. I’m really glad that responsible travel is supporting local communities and undoing some of the damaging practices such as elephant riding that can be popular when on holiday or travelling. Thanks for sharing these upcoming trends and for hosting #FarawayFiles

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:25 AM

      Thanks Jo! I can’t wait until my kids are old enough for a food tour. I know they’d love it.

  3. 4th May 2017 / 9:15 AM

    Those are all big travel trends I see all the time! For us personally, we enjoy going to the lesser known towns in Germany, to give them some spotlight as they are often overlooked for bigger more popular cities. Some of these small towns you have to wonder how they survive when tourism is clearly not their number one source of income. #FarawayFiles

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:27 AM

      Lori you are doing an incredible job of putting those towns on the map. Keep it up!

  4. 4th May 2017 / 11:03 AM

    shouldn’t every year be a year of sustainable tourism? #farawayfiles

  5. Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    4th May 2017 / 12:21 PM

    We’re definitely becoming more interested in food on our travels now – seeking out small restaurants that source local ingredients. Maybe it’s because i’m getting older, but the idea of slow travel suits me – taking a train rather than a plane. Exploring my own country is becoming an important part of my travel experiences too – we had a number of great stays in the UK last year.

  6. 4th May 2017 / 12:54 PM

    For us we have been doing intergenerational but foodie is high on my list too #farawayfiles

  7. 4th May 2017 / 1:16 PM

    Yes, visiting local markets is a really great way to understand local life, as well as support the local economy. I also like the idea that in all the trends you mention there is a move away from going abroad simply for the for the beach and sun, and instead there is an increasing desire to learn about the culture and people – surely only a good thing. #farawayfiles

  8. 4th May 2017 / 1:45 PM

    These are all great trends, I’m all about the foodie travel! And I can agree that the immersive travel is on my list as well. We did a 4 day hiking tour around the Cotswolds that really let you settle in, slow down and enjoy the experience, now I’m looking at similar holidays in Greenland and Italy. #farawayfiles

  9. 4th May 2017 / 3:00 PM

    I love foodie travel and traveling with my son! He’s at an age now, where I think he appreciates the world around him… and he enjoys eating good food! I hope you had a nice trip/break! Loved watching along on IG stories!

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:23 AM

      Thanks Christine. We had a wonderful time. Wish I was in Sicily now!

  10. 4th May 2017 / 3:11 PM

    I keep saying I need to take more advantage of food tours in my travels – a fun way to eat the local food and meet other people. And biking too – we love biking but never seem to do it on vaca – that needs to change! #farawayfiles

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:22 AM

      To be fair there are soooo many options of things to do on our travels. I think we would do a private food tour with our kids as they are a bit little to be on a 3 hour food tour. In the meantime happy to do them with friends and hubby. Lots of fun

  11. jphowze
    4th May 2017 / 6:22 PM

    I do love quirky places to stay (even though I must book earlier on trips to nab them!). Intergenerational travel is great — not only do you get extended family together but having 3 generations there gives an added dimension to the holiday. #FarawayFiles

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:19 AM

      Thanks Jen. I wont lie.. the inbuilt babysitting on multigenerational trips is a huge benefit. Our kids love spending time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins too

  12. 4th May 2017 / 6:45 PM

    I’m seeing a lot of the last two trends on your list lately. I’ve even been seeing cool apps that make food tours and experiences a lot more accessible for visitors and locals alike.

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:18 AM

      I really want to try a dine at home experience soon. Sometimes you can find some really talented chefs testing out recipes. Happy to be a taste tester!

  13. 4th May 2017 / 6:59 PM

    All of them are definitely amazing! I like to do walking tours, indulge in the local cuisine and travel with my parents. I’d really want to try and stay somewhere out of the ordinary one day though. I know that there are treehotel and floating hotels in Sweden and I’d just love to try that one summer!

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:16 AM

      I would love to see you write about staying in a tree hotel Van. You should reach out to them!

  14. 4th May 2017 / 9:03 PM

    Those trends sound spot on to me. In particular I’m currently wondering if my parents would like to meet us somewhere rather than us spend the summer back in boring old Britain again. Paris is under discussion…

    • 6th May 2017 / 8:13 AM

      We just booked an extended family trip to Amsterdam in August. I can’t wait to see my nephews who now live in Africa and spend some extended time with my parents too. Totally, doable. You just need to pick the right accommodation and set some expectations upfront. Plus…babysitting! Awesome, I see you at romantic dinners in Paris

  15. 4th May 2017 / 10:26 PM

    Very interesting to read about these travel trends – I have been seeing more food tours and cooking classes and I’d love to start getting involved in some when we travel. I’m glad that responsible tourism is having a big impact and tourists are becoming more aware of wildlife tours that can be harmful to animals i.e. elephant rides – very important also for encouraging local communities to change their practices #FarawayFiles

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:15 AM

      Thanks Cindy. I’m certainly much more aware and conscious of my impact on local communities and environments than I was in the past. I think increasing awareness can only be a good thing.

  16. 4th May 2017 / 11:34 PM

    Well I reckon I’m totally on trend as these are definitely things I’m looking at more now. The sustainable travel as well as food and immersive experience plus we do a fair bit of multigenerational travel too. Great that you’re an ambassador for visit.org Thanks for hosting #citytripping

    • 6th May 2017 / 8:11 AM

      I never doubted that you were not on trend! Of course you are. I am proud to be an ambassador for visit.org. They are doing great work

  17. 5th May 2017 / 12:04 AM

    Visit.org sounds amazing! I try to spend my money with local organisations when I travel. I can’t say that I’ve noticed new trends but I love the experiential travel trend – where you go somewhere to experience a festival or a way of life. #farawayfiles

    • 6th May 2017 / 8:10 AM

      Thanks Kat – visit.org is doing some great work particularly with tour companies in South America and developing nations. As I get older I appreciate a slower pace and really getting to know a place too

  18. Ruth
    5th May 2017 / 5:36 AM

    I am into the foodie and immersive experience trends. I think those would keep growing with time. I have noticed other trends like women into adventure travels and trips involving some sort of community work. These sound interesting. Congratulation on having an article published on a magazine! #FarawayFiles

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:10 AM

      Thanks Ruth. I really enjoyed writing for a magazine in another language. So much fun

  19. 5th May 2017 / 5:53 AM

    How wonderful that your article was published! I’m definitely interested in exploring some more unique locations as far as accommodations go, and considering we just traveled with the grandparents, it looks like we have multigenerational covered as well! #farawayfiles

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:09 AM

      I know! I was so excited Hilary. We have just booked another trip with my parents and brother and his family. They can be hard to juggle but it’s worth the effort.

  20. 5th May 2017 / 9:34 AM

    Having to think about this one – I could write an essay in reply. I’ve been spending a fair bit of time in India in the last couple of years, for work, and have been looking for projects that I could visit and ideally buy something or participate in some way – to support whatever their endeavour is. To be honest without a lot of success, but atthe same I’m quite busy as well. I’ve just started to tap into NGOs that are involved in textiles and that is something very rewarding personally. So yes, sustainability is definitely on the radar.

    Great post, and thanks for hosting.

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:08 AM

      Thanks Sally. Do check out Visit.org as they have some great experiences in India that some friends of mine have visited and enjoyed. Thanks for linking up with us

  21. Sarah
    5th May 2017 / 6:05 PM

    Totally agree with these trends, especially the first two! I just got an email yesterday about the UN’s sustainable tourism campaign and I think it’s great!!

    • 6th May 2017 / 8:08 AM

      Thanks Sarah. I agree and I think it’s my responsibility to help people understand what they can do to travel more responsibly. Thanks for dropping by

  22. Clare Thomson
    5th May 2017 / 7:17 PM

    All great points. I wrote an article for the London parenting magazine, angels & urchins, on key trends in family travel earlier this year. Luxury hotels are a big trend for the family market in particular – hotels are going out of their way to attract that lucrative family market. Lots of safari companies are working with local charities and environmental groups to make their safaris as responsible as possible. More people want to understand the heritage and culture of the place that they’re visiting so are supporting the local economy in doing so. Exclusive experiences and cultural activities, like you say, are all big news at the moment.

  23. tracycollins2016
    6th May 2017 / 10:12 PM

    Totally agree about more responsible travel – certainly been reading more about avoiding animal exploitation particularly regarding elephant riding and tiger ‘experiences’

    Hotels seem to be keener to talk about how they are using sustainable approaches running their businesses – it’s not enough to wash towels less frequently I think. It is something I try to consider.

    • 7th May 2017 / 9:02 AM

      Sometimes I think the hotels promote fewer towel washes as a cost saving initiative. I’m learning a lot about what hotels can do at the moment from another blogging friend and you’ve given me a prompt to write about it soon

  24. 8th May 2017 / 7:06 AM

    With the availability of low-cost airlines and affordability to travel, be it domestic or overseas, we should strive to give back to the community/society of the destination that we visit. I like local tours (walking/bicycle/food) which are curated and organised by the community, these tours are refreshing for they give us insights into their history and local culture. Good stuff, Katy! 🙂 #FarawayFiles

    • 8th May 2017 / 9:10 PM

      Thanks Kat – we, the travellers, are so privileged. It is only fair to be considerate as a minimum and ideally give something back

  25. 8th May 2017 / 8:47 PM

    Food and accommodation have climbed on my list 🙂

  26. 8th May 2017 / 8:56 PM

    I love that “responsible / sustainable” travel is becoming a thing, and travelers are more conscious of their impact on places rather than just being concerned with how a place will benefit them.

  27. 9th May 2017 / 3:57 AM

    I love that sustainable tourism is a trend! It’s so important to be responsible when we travel, and in everyday life too!

  28. 9th May 2017 / 2:12 PM

    These trends are definitely in line with my own research and experience. It is wonderful that the concept of responsible travel is finally gaining traction as a mainstream way of holidaying. #FarawayFiles

  29. 9th May 2017 / 5:45 PM

    I love the fact that 2017 is the year of responsible tourism. Finally it is becoming mainstream. But what took them so long? As a life-long lover of off-the-beaten-track travel and experience tourism, I’m very happy to read those five trends. Long may they last! x

    • 14th May 2017 / 5:07 PM

      I agree Annette. I think responsible tourism is a bit of a journey. We have to keep educating ourselves and questioning our assumptions.

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