Colorful northern light in Iceland. (Shutterstock/File)
While dream vacations have traditionally been set in sun-soaked, waterfront destinations, the uncharted territory of chillier climes like Iceland, Antarctica and the Arctic will become increasingly enticing for the world’s wealthiest travelers.
Cold, wintry travel destinations top the charts in a forecast from luxury travel network Virtuoso, which identifies five travel trends predicted to dominate 2018 among its affluent clientele.
Travelers who’ve exhausted the world’s most beautiful beaches and resorts will seek out chillier climes, says Virtuoso, like cruises that sail through Alaska, Antarctica and the Arctic. The celestial spectacle of the Northern Lights will also become increasingly popular, as will stays in igloo and frozen hotels.
The prediction aligns with Virtuoso’s top emerging destinations list, in which Iceland takes the top spot.
Here are few other highlights from the Virtuoso 2018 Luxe Report:
Beyond the comfort zone
From swimming with dolphins or manta rays, zip-lining above the jungle canopy or soaking in aerial views through a helicopter tour, wealthy travelers for whom money is no object will be more adventurous this year and step outside their comfort zone.
In 2018, families will expand their travel plans to include grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins for family trips that create lifelong memories and strengthen bonds. Cruises and the renting of whole villas in Europe will become increasingly popular.
As a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the African safari tops many a bucket list, and that’s no exception for the world’s rich and famous. Look out for South Africa to become a trendy destination in 2018 as well.
Be a traveler, not a tourist
For a more authentic experience not found in guidebooks, travelers will seek out activities that bring them closer to the local culture, be it through wine tastings, language classes, or traditional arts and crafts classes.
Meanwhile, here are some other key findings from the report:
Top emerging destinations
Top travel trends
1. Multigenerational travel
2. Active or adventure trips
3. River cruising
4. Food and wine travel
5. Celebration travel
Top global destinations
3. South Africa
5. Australia and New Zealand