What are your travel plans for 2016? Will you plan a family trip, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, a romantic couples getaway or a multi-generational vacation? Claire Newell, travel expert on behalf of Chase Sapphire Preferred the owner and president of Travel Best Bets, one of the largest travel agencies in Canada, and best-selling author of “Travel Best Bets – An Insider’s Guide to Taking Your Best Trips, Ever” talks travel trends and ‘bucket list’ destinations for 2016 with Examiner.
Newell tells us we’ll see an increase in multi-generational travel during 2016. As Boomers retire, they not only have the time and money but look to enjoy travel with their children and grandchildren more.
According to Newell, popular ways to travel include all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean as well as cruises. Both of these types of vacations offer people different dining options, activities to enjoy, separate rooms to have some privacy if needed — and allow most of the trip to be paid for in advance so you’ll know the costs upfront. Advance planning also helps you make the most of the time spent at your destination.
“Many all-inclusive vacations save you money because the tour operator is contracting the rates with the airlines, but transfer companies and hotels often have much better contracted rates than you could ever get yourself because of the sheer volume of business they give each of the companies,” says Newell. “Using companies that offer all-inclusive vacations also means that you will likely have a destination representative on location if you need help or run into a problem while you are away.”
What’s on your travel ‘bucket list’ this year? Newell tells us, “The bucket list destinations are very similar for millennials, families and boomers — however, it’s the type of tours, accommodation and budgets that can differ between the groups.”
Newell adds, “Boomers want more luxury and structured tours. While families are looking for good value and to have most of the trip pre-planned, but amenities that ensure both parents and their children have a good time. Millennials want good value, a little less structure, smaller groups, some adventure or unique experiences, and they want to be connected at all times.”
Some of the destinations topping bucket lists for 2016 including: Africa (Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa), Cuba, Iceland, Montenegro, Cambodia, and a few favorites including Italy and Ireland (specifically Dublin). Be sure to plan ahead for international travel.
“After being in the industry for over 24 years I really don’t feel that there is a best time of year to book international travel,” Newell shares. “The best time to buy international airline tickets is between six weeks and five and one-half months before departure. During peak seasons such as June, July and August or December holidays, purchase your tickets at least two to three months in advance.”
Travelers who plan ahead can save money. “My advice to getting the best deal on international travel is to book well in advance, be flexible in your dates, watch for seat sales and sign up for airfare alerts,” Newell says. “You should also make sure you use a good travel rewards card to pay for your trip like Chase Sapphire Preferred which rewards you with two points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining – so that you can get to your next destination faster.”
From cooking classes in Italy to cycling in France, special interest trips focused on a travelers’ targeted interest is growing in popularity. The most popular include:
- Cooking vacations and culinary trips including cooking lessons and wine tours
- Adventure trips, such as fishing trips, wildlife reserves, cycling adventures and safaris
- Health and wellness trips, including spa getaways and yoga retreats
- Sports and entertainment trips, such as concerts, theatre productions, live shows and sporting events
Now’s the time to make your travel plans for 2016. Whether you’re planning a spring break trip to a family-friendly destination, a couples getaway to a luxury resort, an extended family summer trip-of-a-lifetime or want to spend the holidays somewhere special, plan ahead and you’ll have extra money to spend at your destination.