1. Space Travel
Why go to the beach when you could go to space?! Introducing Virgin’s Air Galactic. According to its website, SpaceShipTwo achieved Mach 1.22 during its first rocket-powered flight in April 2013, becoming the first commercial vehicle since the Concorde to break the speed of sound. You can book your seat to space for a mere $250,000. Worth it.
2. Improved Airline Cabins
No more forcing your bag under your seat. Delta is just one airline to announce new improvements to its airline cabins beginning in 2014, including things like in-seat screens and larger overhead bins. There’s even talk of extending spaces between seats! All together now: IT’S ABOUT TIME.
3. Diminished Airport Lines
Technology is the BEST. With automated check-ins and passport kiosks already being used widely, improvements will also continue with the introduction of expanding pre-check coverage. Also, if you pay a small fee per year and do a background check you don’t have to take your coat, shoes, etc. off to go through security. Wear all the mismatched socks you want. Find out more about TSA Pre-Check here.
4. Checking Your Own Bags
British Airways recently debuted digital baggage tags to increase efficiency. No need to wait in that line to get a tag for your bag anymore. You already have it — all you need is your smartphone to check it. Bring back ALL the souvenirs.
5. Renting a Car Will Almost Be Fun
Hertz rental cars are on top of this trend in 2014. It recently announced new machines for self-service, charging ports for all your technology needs, play areas for children, and little shopping areas to stock up on all your needs before a trip. Wait, is renting a car actually kind of enjoyable now? Who knew that was possible?
6. Child-Free Zones In-Flight
Wait…no screaming baby during your red-eye? Yeah, it could be possible. Many airlines are adopting the trend of child-free areas within cabins. AirAsia X has seven rows dedicated solely to passengers aged 12 and older.
7. Airports as a Destination
The days of dreading your layovers are over. Many airports, namely Heathrow Airport in London, are making vast improvements to their terminals to make them more traveler friendly. We’re talking movie theaters, new artwork, and an abundance of charging ports with complimentary Wi-Fi. Incheon Airport in South Korea has an ice skating rink and even a spa. Flight delayed? WHO CARES?
8. Taxis as We Know Them Will No Longer Be a Form of Transportation for Travelers
Wait, what do you mean by “taxi”? This could be a serious question in a few years. With the introduction of transportation services such as Uber, SideCar, and Lyft, the days of taxis seem to be short-lived. Rides within these services are generally reported as being cheaper, quicker, and more reliable than taxis. Oh and some Lyft drivers have been known to give out candy. Win-win.
9. The End of Room Service
Airlines aren’t the only companies that seem to be cutting budgets — hotels are too. In one New York City hotel, the days of silver platter delivered breakfast are obsolete. With a decrease in the amount of room service being ordered in the past several years, hotels are finding ways around hiring the extra help necessary for room service capability. Better make it to McDonalds before 10:30 a.m.!
10. Hotels Becoming the Ultimate Destination
You know how you used to go on a trip to see nature’s beauty? LOL, me neither. It’s all about the hotels nowadays. Of course, you might still enjoy all the city or landscape has to offer… but your hotel experience will be more than just a place to crash at the end of the day. We’re talking gorgeous architecture, endless activities, and supreme cuisine right inside your hotel. Need more proof? Check this out.
11. Yoga-Themed Trips
Why practice yoga in a studio when you could practice in a rain forest? Yoga retreats are becoming more and more common. Spend 10 days of relaxation with your instructor(s) and come back feeling like a different person. Wanna book your own? You can do it here. Namaste.
12. Relaxed Visa Programs
Iran is one of the first countries to relax its visa requirements for international travelers in 2014. Now tourists from most countries will be able to pick up their visas on arrival, with the exception of travelers from at least 10 countries, one of them being the U.S. Who will be next? International travel just got easier for some!
13. TV- and Movie-Inspired Travel
You might spend four days in New Mexico and never once see Walter White… but you’ll definitely be able to spot some sites from the infamous Breaking Bad. Places where movies and TV shows are filmed are becoming increasingly popular. Who wants to go to New Zealand to walk through Hobbiton from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings? Because you can.
14. Cheaper Flights Within the United States
According to a recent study conducted by American Express Global Business, prices for flights within the U.S. are expected to decline during 2014. No word on if they’ll be as affordable as flights within Europe yet, but here’s to hoping. BRB FLYING EVERYWHERE!
15. Sports-Themed Trips
Forget traveling to New Jersey for the Super Bowl… what about traveling to Sochi or Brazil? This is the year of traveling for sports. With this year’s Olympic Games being held in Russia FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, traveling to see them is kind of a huge deal. Not to mention the hype for the World Cup in luxurious Brazil. Let’s all use sports as an excuse to travel this year and every year. Or just take a cruise with some former MLB players. I mean, it’s up to you. GO TEAM!
16. Environmentally Friendly Trips
Here’s a good reason to travel: helping out the environment! Take a trip, volunteer within communities, use green transportation, stay in an eco-friendly luxury resort, and LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT. We all love traveling and seeing the world and we want to make sure we can continue to do so for years to come. Check out some tips to make your trip more green here.
17. All-Inclusive Trips
All-inclusive resorts are no longer just reserved for honeymooners. These types of offers have expanded across the globe, and are now featured in places like Australia, Jamaica, and New Zealand. And some resorts that didn’t offer this before are now offering all-inclusive as an option for guests. Don’t have the budget for all-inclusivity? Check out Contiki for more options. So, are you going to book your trip now or later?
18. More Daring Adventures
You only get one life, right? So why not jump out of planes or go cliff diving off a 109-meter cliff in New Zealand? These types of adventures are growing ever more present and with good reason. According to Forbes, the super rich are spending up to $4 billion a year on adventure travel. I mean, who doesn’t want to tell everyone about the time they swam with sharks in Costa Rica? Want more ideas for your next #YOLO worthy trip? You’re welcome.
19. The End of Room Keys
You know how you used to always accidentally take your hotel room key home with you at the end of your trip? No more! Some hotels like the Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ Aloft locations in Manhattan and Silicon Valley will soon allow guests to reserve rooms and check in online using the dedicated app. Just don’t lose your phone.
20. New Travel Gadgets
Wanna double the battery life or storage capacity on your phone? How about take a portable projector on long flights? Also, go ahead and plan on taking sweet videos and pictures while you’re at it. 2014 is the year of the sweetest travel gadgets. Start saving up now.
21. Dining with Locals
Forget stopping at the local McDonalds because you don’t know where else to go. With the invention of apps such as Grouper, Grubwithus, LeftoverGrub, EatWith, and HomeDine, eating with locals just got a whole lot easier. Meet people, eat yummy food, and never eat alone again. Sign us up.