Published on Tuesday, January 22, 2008

“Staycations” among top travel trends expected this year

Top trends predicted for this year include “Staycations,” where travelers stay close to home and take long weekends instead of weeks away. Cruising, volunteer vacations, climate sightseeing and “couch surfing” to find stranger’s homes to stay are also trends, according to JWT, the US’s largest ad agency.

Also, medical tourism and babymoons where couples take a vacation before their first baby.

Other trends to look for:

·         Yahoo Travel's destinations that got the biggest increase in page views in Yahoo Travel Guides were Lancaster, Pa.; Ocean City, N.J.; South Lake Tahoe, Calif.; Wildwood, N.J.; Helen, Ga.; and Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

·         The top 10 destinations for 2008, according to a survey of Lonely Planet staffers, include many places in the US with an emphasis on national parks and Hawaii; and Mexico, with an emphasis on Mexico City and the Pacific Coast.

·         According to the US Commerce Department's Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, air travel by US citizens January to September 2007 was up 2% to Europe, down 3.1% to the Caribbean, and down 3.4% to Canada.

·         The top five destinations for US residents traveling abroad in 2006, the most recent year for which figures by country were available, were Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, according to wire services.

Report by David Wilkening

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