Virtuoso, a leading global network of luxury travel agents, has given an insight into the newest trends and hottest destinations of 2018. The annual report suggests that next year will be the year for discovering less-visited destinations, with the desire for unspoiled natural beauty continuing to motivate travellers.

According to Virtuoso advisors, these are the five luxury travel trends for 2018:

  1. 1. In 2018, cold is hot. Jetsetters in need of novel pastures are setting their sights on chillier climes, with Iceland continuing to be one of the most popular destinations for luxury travel. Meanwhile, cruisers are getting excited about Alaska, and adventurers about Antarctica and the Arctic. One trip of a lifetime mentioned by Virtuoso’s expert advisors that is probably on most people’s bucket lists is seeing the Northern Lights.
  1. 2. Taking on new experiences and getting out of your comfort zone will be a driving force for many travel plans next year. Virtuoso advisors suggest that many will be heading to destinations they have never been before and tackling activities such as swim with marine life like dolphins or mantas, zip-lining or ballooning, or helicopter tours.

3. Connecting with family through travel. With the world becoming a smaller place every day, many people these days have family members dotted around the globe. And what better excuse is there to travel than to visit a rarely-seen loved one. Whether renting a European villa for a celebration with loved ones, cruising to the Galapagos Islands, or snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef, a family trip creates lifelong memories, strengthens bonds, and plays a pivotal role in childhood education.

  1. 4. Experience Africa. From culturally rich South Africa to the wilds of Botswana and Kenya to the souks of Morocco, Africa is one of the world’s most diverse and intriguing continents. Virtuoso’s advisors say a safari is an integral part of the African experience, particularly with wildlife preservation a priority for today’s sustainably savvy travellers.
  1. 5. Be a traveller rather than a tourist. A new wave of travel is upon us where we no longer want to stand out as tourists but rather be immersed in the local culture by meeting locals, wandering neighbourhoods and making spontaneous discoveries. Wine tasting, learning a traditional craft, or even taking language lessons, there are plenty of ways travellers can seek out the true culture of the area they are visiting.