Cheapflights has crunched some data and came up with the top 5 trend predictions for 2012 travel. See the findings below:
Value for money
Though the priority is to get away, cutting costs is still on the top of every traveller’s mind. Cheapflights predicts value-for-money escapes will be the top trend in 2012; the industry will see a rise in consumer demand for discounted trips like package vacations, all-inclusives and cruises.
Bundling trips into weekend deals and warm-weather getaways gives flyers the excuse to vacation without the guilt of spending big. Cheapflights has seen a lot of top-notch metropolises like Quebec and Toronto rank well on our list of lower-than-average airfares.
But warm is where the real deals are. Currently some of the lowest average airfares we are seeing on Cheapflights.ca are to Florida, namely Ft Lauderdale, Orlando and Miami. Also Cozumel, Mexico, and Varadero, Cuba, rank among the top 10 for lowest average airfare for December searches. Bermuda and the Bahamas (both Freeport and Nassau) follow close behind with average round-trip prices popping up between CA$450-500.
As for travel across the pond, deals to traditional favourites like London, Paris and Shannon, Ireland top the list of best deals to Europe, with round-trip airfares averaging below CA$800. Worth considering, there are some interesting Eastern European spots – including Vilnius, Lithuania, Bucharest, Romania and Warsaw, Gdansk and Krakow Poland – that are close in airfare price and may have lower ground costs. Nice, France slips in right in that same price point range as well.
Rise in pet travel
So many flyers are taking dogs and cats onboard of late that the Canadian Transportation Agency has just ruled that certain airlines must protect allergic passengers. Air Canada and WestJet have been asked by the agency to either ban cats on flights with allergic passengers, or to create feline-free zones with ventilation. Airlines around the globe are seeing significant increases in the number of pets travelling, with Virgin reporting a 1500 per cent increase in the number of dogs vacationing with their owners since 2003.
Athletic voluntourism vacations
When the economic downturn was officially announced in 2009, various types of vacations rooted in giving back emerged. This New Year is set to see the introduction of a new vacation trend: athletic voluntourism. Born out of the popular participation in famous world races such as the New York or London marathons, this trend is growing and spreading into other areas of sport including cycling, hiking, walking and even wheel chair racing for many worthy causes. The calorie-burning, well-intentioned trips have the doubly beneficial effect of raising money while getting fit. (And it’s the perfect way to burn off any excess toxins consumed over the holiday season.)
Reality TV drives destination trends
Reality competitions like The Amazing Race and Survivor for years have offered viewers around-the-world trips from the comfort of their own couches. Now other reality shows are stepping up their destination game, focusing on prime places like Vancouver (The Bachelorette) and Florence, Italy (Jersey Shore). Whether it’s the proposals or the fist pumps, reality shows are inspiring TV junkies to consider vacation spots that, if not for their DVR, they may not have considered.
The new upgrade
Comfort, perks and new ways to upgrade define the face of flying for 2012. As airlines slice and dice their cabins, there will be inventive ways for passengers to find mini upgrades – think more leg room, more luggage room and more comfort. Cue Cuddle Class, the economy class option where passengers can lay flat and cuddle up on long-haul flights. To foster this new class, certain airlines are installing foldaway armrests to three seats in a row along with a padded foot rest that locks into place. Passengers purchase two tickets and pay half price for the third, then stretch out and cozy up.
Featured image: Andrei Dimofte