Travel Trends - 2018 Predictions

01 of 07

The Search for Workamper Opportunities

Mark Kahler, licensed to

Care to become a workamper?

Simply defined, a workamper finds employment in order to prolong his or her stay in a campsite or vacation destination. A workamper might be a retiree looking for some extra cash, or someone willing to complete assignments around the RV park in exchange for a parking space rental.

Workamper popularity is rising among baby-boomers, but also with people of all ages who look for ways to experience local culture. Working shoulder-to-shoulder is a great way to get to know people!

Pay tends to be modest for many jobs, but some workampers find employers who will pay premiums for skills such as public speaking, musical ability, or engineering know-how.

02 of 07

Restaurant Week Options Growing

(c)Mark Kahler, under an arrangement with

Restaurant Week options allow budget travelers to sample some upscale restaurants at discounted prices.

Why should the restaurateurs discount their menu prices at certain times of the year? Quite frankly, they want to get you hooked on their best items. They know many on a budget simply won't visit that upscale steakhouse or trendy bistro without some financial enticements and an appreciation for the offerings.

Cities often organize restaurant weeks for times in which the business slows. It pays to check your destination to see if a restaurant week promotion will be in play during your visit. Although most occur in winter, some occur during warmer weather as well, and some cities actually organize more than one event in a calendar year.

03 of 07

Private Yachts and Private Jets for Budget Travelers?

Yachts drop anchor in places a large cruise ship could not access.
Johner Images/Getty Images News

Budget travel doesn't mix well with phrases such as yacht charter or private jet booking. But there are businesses that are beginning to open up these opportunities to people who are limited in financial resources.

Antlos is a company that specializes in connecting skippers and yacht owners with interested travelers. Smaller vessels can go to scenic, secluded coves and waterways the big cruise ships cannot access. Prices on Antlos are competitive with what you'd pay to rent a condominium for a week through Airbnb.​

Private jet charters can ease the pain of flying, especially for business travelers. The comfort and legroom available make a much better experience. But many company CFOs would not be happy with an employee who offers a string of private jet charters on an expense account.

JetSuiteX currently flies between four western U.S. states and partners with JetBlue. Fares are frequently competitive with business class on a commercial airline, and sometimes even drop to the level of coach fares.

Fliers use smaller airports that might not have convenient, cheap ground transportation connections. But it's another option to consider as budget travelers navigate rising airline fees and airport congestion. 

04 of 07

Farmers Markets Gain New Popularity

A farmer's market in Montreal.
(c)Mark Kahler, under an arrangement with

A visit to a farmer's market makes a great deal of sense for budget travelers. They assemble picnic lunches with fresh food, usually at reasonable prices.

But these places are no longer just the favorite stops of budget travelers. Food-related travel has been growing quickly in popularity for several years, and there are visitors these days who plan their trips around cities with the best farmer's markets.

You're also likely to rub elbows in these places with some of the best chefs in the city, who come seeking farm-fresh products for that night's menu. So don't just go for the food -- strike up a conversation or two and learn about the regional specialties. It's a great benefit that most travelers miss.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Trip Planning Apps Gain Traction

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Planning a great itinerary can take a lot of time and effort. But many budget travelers simply don't have the time to do the work they also see as necessary. Clearly, finding a shortcut is important.

Enter the world of the trip planning apps. These handy online tools can save time and money as they also add value to your journeys. 

There are apps for relatively simple tasks like visiting an array of baseball parks, or complex trips booking flights that take you around the world.

It pays to find one that meets your travel needs and use it frequently. Expect the number of available choices to multiply, and the menu of options to diversify.

06 of 07

Trip Advisor Destination on the Rise: San Juan del Cabo

An aerial view of the Baja.
(c)Mark Kahler, under an arrangement with

Topping a recent list of Trip Advisor Destinations on the Rise is San Juan del Cabo, on Mexico's Baja Peninsula.

When you read Cabo, you begin thinking about a never-ending party, the Cabo Wabo, and the wildly popular Cabo San Lucas. But San Juan del Cabo is about 20 miles north of its more boisterous neighbor. Here you'll find colonial architecture, quieter streets, and some of Mexico's best beachfront. There are great dining opportunities and smaller hotels where you'll discover rates that attract budget travelers.

Some people prefer to use San Juan del Cabo as a quiet base for exploring both Cabos and the activities that are available.

As a destination on the rise, San Juan del Cabo could change. The crowds will discover your favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant or secluded beach. So it might be wise to get to San Juan del Cabo soon, before the crowds invade this lovely place. 

07 of 07

Reformation Trips

Reformation sites will be popular destinations in 2017.
Sean Gallup / Staff / Getty Images

In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 theses to the Wittenberg Castle church door in Germany. It was the start of the Protestant Reformation.

During 2017, thousands of visitors flocked to Wittenberg and other destinations in Europe associated with Reformation history. Occupancy rates and prices rose accordingly in these places. Some of the key cities are rather small, and choices became limited to a distant accommodation or a premium-priced place to stay.

Now that the anniversary year has passed, why not visit Germany, France or Switzerland and see these historic sites? Fewer tour buses and shorter lines will enable guides and hosts to provide better value.

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